Sewage Sludge and Biosolids
- Application of anaerobically-digested, dewatered municipal sewage sludge, termed biosolids, to agricultural land is a widely-used, cost-effective way of disposing of this material and of realizing benefit from its plant nutrients and organic matter.
- Depending on the situation, the majority of biosolids produced by a municipality may be applied to agricultural land and the remainder is usually land-filled. Constituents of interest in biosolids that are applied to land are nutrients (N and P), heavy metals and minor elements. These may be micro-nutrients or undesirable toxic metals. For biosolids that are land-filled, carbon content is of concern because organic matter may be converted to methane.
- Monitoring of the composition of biosolids by the truckload before application to land or land-filling is limited by the high cost and time required for conventional analyses. These costs also limit the monitoring of the concentrations of nutrients and heavy metals in the receiving soil before and after land application.
PDK explores the feasibility of using NIRS as a rapid, potentially-portable, cost-effective, and timely technology for the analysis of sewage sludge and biosolids for carbon, nutrients and heavy metals that may assist decision-making, monitoring of wastewater treatment operations, environmental protection, and environmental monitoring.
Project (1999 - 2000)
Applying near-infrared spectroscopy for the rapid analysis of sludges, biosolids, and amended soils.
Funded as Project 99-PUM-6-ET by the Water Environment Research Foundation, Alexandria, VA.
City of Winnipeg's Water and Waste Department.City of Winnipeg's WINGRO Biosolids Land Application Program.
Purpose of Project
The overall purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility of applying NIRS for the analysis of nutrients and heavy metals in sewage sludge, biosolids, and receiving soil.
Specifically, it was intended to:
- develop and evaluate NIR calibrations for nutrients and metals in the following samples:
- Newly-collected wet sludge from three stages in the treatment process, including biosolids.
- Dried, archived sewage sludge from three stages in the treatment process.
- Newly-collected soil from current application of biosolids to agricultural land.
- Dried, archived soil samples from experimental applications of biosolids to agricultural plots.
- analyze the sources of error in the chemical and near-infrared methods of analysis, using wet sludges as an example.
Malley, D.F., B. Trybula, R.D. Ross, and G. Gay. 2000. Evaluating the Use of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy for the Analysis of Biosolids Constituents. Project 99-PUM-6-ET Final Report. Water Environment Research Foundation, Alexandria VA. Document No. D00306WW.
(Report can be purchased by WEF members and others from the Water Environment Research Federation and by WERF subscribers from the Water Environment Research Foundation, 601 Wythe St., Alexandria VA 22314-1994 USA)
References on the analysis of sewage sludge, biosolids, or municipal wastewater by NIRS
Nyberg, U., B. Andersson, and H. Aspergren. 1996. Experiences with on-line measurements at a wastewater treatment plant for extended nitrogen removal. Water Science and Technology 33(1): 175-182.
Malley, D.F., B. Trybula, R.D. Ross, and G. Gay. 2000. Evaluating the Use of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy for the Analysis of Biosolids Constituents. Project 99-PUM-6-ET Final Report. Water Environment Research Foundation. Alexandria VA. Document No. D00306WW
Malley, D.F., K.Kjartanson, R.D. Ross, and G. Gay. 1999. Potential methods for rapid, non-destructive, cost-effective analysis of heavy metals in sewage sludge. Contribution to manual for Biosolids Seminar: Biosolids Regulatory, Process and Utilization Technologies Professional Seminar Winnipeg MB, 26-27 Jan 1999. Sponsored by the Western Canada Water Environment Association.
Malley, D.F., F.R. DeVries, and R.D. Ross. 2006. Feasibility of analyzing nutrients and heavy metals in “as is” and dried sewage sludge and biosolids using near-infrared spectroscopy. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference, Auckland, New Zealand (in press)
Malley, D.F., F. R. DeVries, and R.D. Ross. 2005. Feasibility of analyzing nutrients and metals in sewage sludge and biosolids using near-infrared spectroscopy. Poster presented at 12th International Conference on Near-Infrared Spectroscopy, 10-15 April 2005, Auckland, New Zealand.
Malley, D.F., L. Yesmin and M.R. Banerjee. 2000. Rapid analysis of nutrients and metals in biosolids-amended soils using near-infrared spectroscopy. Poster at 2000 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. 5-9 November 2000, Minneapolis MN.