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.
- domestic waste-water