Co-digestion of sewage sludge and wood fly ash

Environ Technol. 2022 May;43(12):1853-1859. doi: 10.1080/09593330.2020.1856937. Epub 2020 Dec 10.


This study uses a new approach for the recycling of plant nutrients by co-digesting sewage sludge with fly ash from a wood combustion. Sewage sludge and fly ash both are enriched with nutrients of the wastewater resp. wood, which makes these products an enhanced source for recycled fertilizers. The effects of the ash addition to the anaerobic digestion are studied in several lab scale experiments including effects on the gas production and microbial activity. Following that, the fertilizing qualities of the digestate are evaluated by plant growth experiments. The results show that the fertilizing qualities of the digested sludge were improved by the ash addition. Next to this, gas production results show that the methane production was not affected by the ash addition, while the total gas release was reduced. The sulphur addition by the ash stimulated sulphate reducing bacteria. The sulphate reducing bacteria did not markedly inhibit the methanogens.

Keywords: Anaerobic digestion; ash; co-digestion; nutrient recycling; sewage sludge.

MeSH terms

  • Anaerobiosis
  • Bioreactors
  • Coal Ash*
  • Digestion
  • Methane
  • Sewage*
  • Sulfates
  • Wood


  • Coal Ash
  • Sewage
  • Sulfates
  • Methane