Effect of Recycle Sludge on Anaerobic Digestion of Palm Oil Mill Effluent in A Thermophilic Continuous Digester
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The objective of this research is to maintain short retention time and high degradation of palm oil mill effluent (POME) to biogas by applying recycle sludge. Fresh POME from Rambutan Mill without further treatment was used as feed. Two lab-scale digesters supported from Metawater Co. Ltd. have been applied to treat POME at thermophilic (55oC) condition. Both digesters were operated under intermittent operation mode. Experiments were performed in two methods: with and without recycle sludge. Hydraulic retention time (HRT) of both methods was maintained at 6 days, while sludge retention time (SRT) was maintained at various days. The result showed that by extending SRT in return sludge process where 25% of digested slurry recycled to the digester, improvement of volatile solid (VS) decomposition was obtained around 84% at HRT of 6 days and SRT of 21 days. Then, chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency could be reached until 85% by using recycle sludge.