Thermal processes used in sludge disposal have become more attractive as process improvements have been introduced, such as power generation and efficient heat recovery. More and more utilities and agencies are reevaluating their sludge management practices to ensure that they are providing sustainable management solutions for their clients. The thermal process design approach to the disposal of sludge is not only designed to achieve stricter emission limits but also is more energy efficient compared to its predecessors. Increasing numbers of new plants are being built every year with more energy efficient heat recovery features such as air preheating and cogeneration with steam and electricity production. This paper presents an overview of fluid bed incineration in North America and its evolution over the last decades. Case studies of the last three newest and largest plants in North America are presented, including the Lakeview Plant, Duffin Creek Plant, both in Ontario, Canada and the Southerly Plant in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Keywords: cogeneration, fluid bed incineration, sludge disposal, sustainability