We must distinguish between the hydrolysis of solids and that of dissolved organ-ics. The anaerobic treatment process of solids and sludge stabilization are frequently used in municipal WWTPs in order to obtain residual solids which cannot be utilized further by microorganisms as their carbon and energy source. It is to a large extent odorless and can be dewatered easily. About 25-30% of dry mass is converted thereby into sludge gas containing CH4. Therefore, it can be used as a form of gaseous energy. This process will not be discussed here in detail.
The hydrolysis of dissolved organics is the first step of anaerobic wastewater treatment. Higher-loaded wastewater, such as that generated by breverage and food industries, offers the possibility to separate, concentrate and recycle the anaerobic bacteria from the treated wastewater or to immobilize the bacteria on solid support materials (Section 8.4). The efficiency of these processes can be increased and the processes can be optimized considerably. Micro- and macrokinetics are the foundation of process construction and control. In the next section we will discuss the present knowledge of anaerobic microkinetics.
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