Treating organic waste with Cambi® THP

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This paper describes how the Cambi Thermal Hydrolysis Process (THP) treats biodegradable organic waste and converts it to renewable energy and pathogen-free and bio-fertilizer. The interest for the process is expected to increase due to new environmental legislation as well as increasing demand for renewable energy. The implementation of the European Landfill Directive 1999/31EC and the Animal-by Products Regulation (ABPR, 1774/2002/EC) are two major regulatory drivers in the European Union. This paper should encourage and will assist energy companies, waste management companies and consultants to carry out comprehensive feasibility studies prior to investment, including technological, economic and environmental aspects. Due to increased environmental awareness there is a growing interest for biological treatment of renewable sources and organic waste. Increasing environmental pressures on waste disposal (landfills) have also increased the use of anaerobic digestion (AD) as a process for reducing waste volumes and generating useful byproducts. An anaerobic digester is an industrial biological system that harnesses a natural process to treat and convert biodegradable organic waste, producing digestate and biogas. The digestate can be converted to organic fertilizer by a short maturation/composting. The biogas can be used to:
  • provide heat
  • power a gas engine to produce electricity and heat
  • produce compressed bio-methane after CO2 removal that can be used as vehicle fuel gas,

The Cambi thermal hydrolysis process (THP) is a well proven and patented technology to pretreat biological waste for sterilization and high organic matter conversion. Organic waste treated with thermal hydrolysis at high temperature undergoes both extreme disintegration, i.e. breaking up cells and dissolving organic solids into water, and complete pathogen, seed and helminth (parasite) kill. In the THP process complex carbohydrate and protein substrates are reduced to single monomers of saccharides and amino acids that rapidly acidify in the digestion process to give short chain volatile fatty acids. These fatty acids are rapidly converted to biogas in an anaerobic digester. The positive consequence is increased and accelerated biogas production during anaerobic digestion and improved dewaterability of the digested product (digestate).

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