Increasing the sludge energy potential of wastewater treatment plants by introducing fine mesh sieves for primary treatment

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The objective of this study was to compare some basic characteristics of sludge from fine mesh sieves (sieve sludge) with sludge from primary clarifiers (primary sludge) regarding their energy potential with a focus on anaerobic digestion and/or incineration. Nineteen samples of sludge from fine mesh sieve plants (most of them without fine screens and grit chambers as pre-treatment) and 10 samples of primary sludge were analysed for the content of dry solids (DS), volatile solids (VS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), calorific value and methane potential. The results demonstrated that the sieve sludges have significantly higher VS content and higher methane potential than primary sludges, clearly indicating an increased sludge energy potential if fine mesh sieves are used for primary treatment instead of primary clarifiers at wastewater treatment plants with anaerobic digesters. If the sludges from primary treatment are to be incinerated or used as fuel in cement kilns, there is no significant difference in energy potential (given as calorific values) for the two types of primary treatment.

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