Anaerobic digestion is an important process, with a number of industrial and domestic applications. One of the primary applications is in wastewater treatment. But what is anaerobic digestion, and how do anaerobic digester mixing systems empower wastewater treatment? In this article, we’ll answer both of those questions in detail.
What is Anaerobic Digestion?
Let’s start with a simple definition.
Basically, anaerobic digestion is a process in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material, without there being any oxygen present. An anaerobic digestion plant may be used to produce fuel, to dispose of waste, or even to create fermented foods and beverages. It’s also worth noting that this process can sometimes occur beyond an anaerobic digestion plant; sometimes, it takes place in nature, including in lakes and in certain types of soil.
That’s the overview, but what about the specific steps in the process?
Anaerobic Digestion Process Steps
Here’s a breakdown of the anaerobic digestion process steps.
- First, the input materials are put through bacterial hydrolysis, a kind of chemical reaction.
- Some organic polymers are broken down into soluble elements, which are then made available to the bacteria.
- Acidogenic bacteria can be employed to turn amino acids and sugar into organic acids, ammonia, hydrogen, or even carbon dioxide.
- Methanogens are used to turn these materials into a mix of methane and carbon dioxide.
This is a basic rundown of how the process works. Now, let’s turn our attention to anaerobic digestion wastewater treatment.
Anaerobic Digestion Wastewater Treatment
While anaerobic digestion can be used in many different contexts, it’s especially well-suited for breaking down organic matter. As you might imagine, this means it’s a viable option in wastewater treatment, sludge treatment, and similar fields.
The benefit of anaerobic digestion is that it can significantly reduce the amount of organic matter, converting much of it into gas that can be harmlessly expelled. What this means is that there is less organic matter that has to be disposed of in some way (usually just by dumping it into the sea). Thus, it is both a more cost-effective and often an eco-friendly way of handling solid waste.
In fact, one of the primary reasons why anaerobic digestion has become so popular in wastewater treatment settings is that environmental advocates have lobbied for safer, cleaner ways of removing waste. Anaerobic digestion meets that criteria.
Also note that in communities that collect household waste, anaerobic digestion can significantly reduce the solid matter that needs to be transported to a landfill or treatment facility; decreasing transportation needs makes waste management less expensive, and it minimizes the ecological footprint.
More About Anaerobic Digester Services
One important note about anaerobic digestion is that, in order for it to be efficient, the digester tanks need to be cleaned with some regularity. That can be a pretty big job, and usually requires the use of specialized equipment. P&H Senesac provides the centrifuge technology needed to safely and effectively clean out these big tanks.
Without regular cleanings, solid waste and gunk tend to build up inside the tank, which can diminish their capacity over time. This means that the anaerobic digestion process is less efficient than it might be otherwise.
P&H Senesac is proud to be a nationwide leader in digester cleaning services. We’ve been around for decades and have both the track record and the best-in-class technology needed to deliver optimal value.
It’s our pleasure to work with wastewater treatment and sludge treatment companies. If you have any questions or are ready to hire anaerobic digester cleaning services, please reach out to P&H Senesac today.