Global solution for sewage Sludge Disposal
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Sewage sludge is the thick, malodorous slurry left behind in a sewage treatment plant after its load of human and industrial chemical waste have been bio-chemically treated and the wastewater discharged. The large amount of human waste in sewage treatment plants means that the sludge contains concentration of phosphates and nitrates, desirable components of fertilizers. However, the industrial wastes that are present have highly toxic materials such as industrial solvents, heavy metals, synthetic hormones, and even radio-active waste left behind in the sludge. When sewage sludge is applied to the fields, both the nutrients and the toxic chemicals are released to the environment, and they often found at high concentrations. Sewage sludge solids comprise a mixture of organic material composed mainly of crude proteins, lipids and carbohydrates. In addition the bacteria still alive are pathogenic and contaminate soil and ground water. Sludge fertilizer is already banned in several European countries such as Switzerland, Sweden, Austria and others due to growing concern about residues in the sludge, particularly synthetic hormones and some pharmaceutical compounds.

Typical sludge comprises of about 60-80% volatile material and contains about 40% organic carbon (percent by weight of dry solids). Disposal of the sludge is expensive and normally constitutes up to 30% the total annual costs of wastewater treatment.

Numerous sludge processing options have been proposed and have the potential to convert a fraction of the organic material into usable energy. Anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge is probably the most common process employed to date, about 25% of the available organic material being converted to produce a gas rich in methane, resulting in an energy production of about 1,194 Kcal/Kg. of dry sludge solids fed to the digester.

The proposal to use the process of synthetic oil production from solid fuels for the treatment of various organic wastes, sewage sludge included is based on the similarity of the chemical composition (lipids, proteins, hydrocarbons) of the organic matter of these fuels and the waste products.

Municipal sewage sludge is gaining traction in the US and around the world as a lipid feedstock for biodiesel production. The potential energy contained in wastewater and biosolids (sewage sludge) exceeds by ten times the energy used to treat it, and can approximately meet up to 12% of the national demand. That’s enough to power New York City, Houston, Dallas and Chicago annually.

Wastewater treatments plants produce only a small quantity of the energy they need. In order to broaden new energy creation, so that every community can take advantage of the opportunity, the wastewater sector must develop and deploy new practices and technologies. Water and wastewater treatment operations have the potential to be net energy producers; they represent three percent of the total electricity consumption in the United States. The 16,583 publicly owned wastewater facilities in the United States annually produce 7.2 million metric tons of â€