The thermal hydrolysis process is the most suitable solution for large volumes of homogeneous organic wastes. The most common usage is the treatment sludge formed and collected during the treatment process in wastewater treatment plants.
In this process, the wastewater undergoes a multi-stage treatment process to remove organic matter, nutrients, and pollutants, in accordance with local regulations, before returning to nature. The first step produces primary sludge (pre-sedimentation sludge) by removing mostly inorganic material. Secondary sludge with high organic content is separated in the next step.
In some cases, food waste or dewatered sludge can be brought from elsewhere and mixed with sludge produced on site.
The sludge line includes all sludge treatment steps in a wastewater treatment plant. Water utilities invest in many different sludge treatment technologies to recover energy or nutrients from sludge, reduce odors, eliminate pathogens, or meet other regulatory requirements.
Most medium and large wastewater treatment plants recover energy from sludge through anaerobic digestion. The resulting biogas meets local energy needs or is sold as electricity or natural gas. Thermal hydrolysis is a sludge treatment technology used in conjunction with anaerobic digestion.
Sludge line design and sludge management practices often have a significant impact on the balance sheet of water services. Cambi makes the difference with the optimum integration of our proven thermal hydrolysis process into any sludge line.
After anaerobic digestion, the sludge is dewatered before final disposal or use. Thermal hydrolysis simplifies sludge management and disposal in several ways:
- As biogas production increases, less product remains to be digested,
- Final dewatering requires less energy;
- The volume of dewatered biosolids is much lower, so they are cheaper to use;
- Dehydrated biosolids are pathogen free, low odor, easy to store and transport.
By investing in thermal hydrolysis, water services often gain new options, such as transporting sludge to farmers for agriculture for biosolids disposal.
In areas where incineration is required, the resulting biosolid product has a higher calorific value, which can translate into lower gate charges.