Optimisation of sludge disruption by sonication

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4741-4747
Journal / PublicationWater Research
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


This study presents an examination on the correlation of sonication operating condition, sludge property, formation and behaviour of cavitation bubbles in sludge disruption under low-frequency ultrasound sonication. The influence of sonication time, sonication density, type of sludge and solids content on the disruption was evaluated. The most vigorous particle disruption was achieved in the initial period of sonication, which subsided subsequently. The explosive effect was likely due to the rapid cavitation arising from powerful transient bubbles generated in fractions of microseconds. A rating for the type of sludge was derived based on the finding that particles in secondary sludge were more readily disrupted than both primary sludge and mixed sludge. While sonication density exhibited the most significant role in cavitation bubble formation and behaviour, particle disruption could be optimised for energy input by sonicating at higher sonication density and shorter sonication time. Based on theoretical consideration, it was deduced that within an optimum sludge solids content ranging between 2.3% and 3.2%, superior particle disruption could be accomplished within a minute for secondary sludge sonicated at a density of 0.52 W/mL. Useful guidelines for sonication system installation, equipment protection and process reliability could be established from knowledge derived from a good understanding on the influence of solids content on sludge sonication. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Cavitation bubbles, Disruption, Sludge disruption, Solids content, Sonication, Ultrasound

Bibliographic Note

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Citation Format(s)

Optimisation of sludge disruption by sonication. / Show, Kuan-Yeow; Mao, Taohong; Lee, Duu-Jong.
In: Water Research, Vol. 41, No. 20, 12.2007, p. 4741-4747.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review