Co-digestion to support low temperature anaerobic pretreatment of municipal sewage in a UASB–digester

Lei Zhang, T.L.G. Hendrickx, C. Kampman, B.G. Temmink, G. Zeeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this work was to demonstrate that co-digestion improves soluble sewage COD removal efficiency in treatment of low temperature municipal sewage by a UASB–digester system. A pilot scale UASB–digester system was applied to treat real municipal sewage, and glucose was chosen as a model co-substrate. Co-substrate was added in the sludge digester to produce additional methanogenic biomass, which was continuously recycled to inoculate the UASB reactor. Soluble sewage COD removal efficiency increased from 6 to 23%, which was similar to its biological methane potential (BMP). Specific methanogenic activity of the UASB and of the digester sludge at 15 °C tripled to a value respectively of 43 and 39 mg CH4–COD/(g VSS d). Methane production in the UASB reactor increased by more than 90% due to its doubled methanogenic capacity. Therefore, co-digestion is a suitable approach to support a UASB–digester for pretreatment of low temperature municipal sewage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-566
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • domestic waste-water
  • reactors
  • sludge
  • performance


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