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Utilization of energy from thermal treatment of sludge

J. Boran (Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Process and Environmental Engineering, Brno University of Technology, Brno, Czech Republic)
L. Houdkova (Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Process and Environmental Engineering, Brno University of Technology, Brno, Czech Republic)
V. Ucekaj (Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Process and Environmental Engineering, Brno University of Technology, Brno, Czech Republic)
P. Stehlik (Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Process and Environmental Engineering, Brno University of Technology, Brno, Czech Republic)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 13 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare well‐known technologies of sludge utilization on the basis of energy and economical balances of real processes. The calculations are based on pilot tests in the Central Waste Water Treatment Plant (CWWTP) in Prague, the biggest waste water treatment plant in the Czech Republic.

Design/methodology/approach

A key issue for the comparison of mass and energy flow of sludge management is the attainable level of sludge dewaterability. Results of dewatering of anaerobic digested sludge are available from real applications since most sewage plants use digesters. The existing limited knowledge about mixed raw sludge (MRS) dewaterability have driven authors to make pilot tests targeted to establishment of an attainable level of MRS dewaterability. To get as close results as possible even anaerobic stabilized sludge was dewatered and various other data were collected to obtain a comprehensive data set for energy balance of the sludge management calculation. The pilot tests took place at CWWTP in 2005. Measured data were used to calculate energy balance of a number of different sludge managements.

Findings

To produce self‐reliant combusting sludge, a dry matter content of 35‐45 per cent for MRS and 45‐55 per cent for digested sludge has to be achieved by means of dewatering and potentially drying. In recent measurements at CWWTP a dry matter content of about 33 per cent was achieved by dewatering of MRS. This value is very close to the range of the dry matter content at which a self reliant combustion can be expected.

Practical implications

This comparison together with investment cost analysis should be one of the most important parameters in case of design a new or revamp an old waste water treatment plant.

Originality/value

The paper provides results from pilot tests at CWWTP together with three different energy balances comparison.

Keywords

Citation

Boran, J., Houdkova, L., Ucekaj, V. and Stehlik, P. (2008), "Utilization of energy from thermal treatment of sludge", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 433-443. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777830810878623

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited