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Sludge management

Design and implementation of new methods to treat and
make best use of sludge from waste water treatment plants

The aim of this project is to develop new sludge treatment processes to put the waste to beneficial use in the form of a product, meeting industrial standards of consistency and quality whose harmful contents have been removed. The research and development programme has the following objectives: - To improve our knowledge of the chemical and microbiological composition and structure of sludge. - To optimize the dehydration of sludge. Irrespective of the sludge's final destination, the dewatering process is critical. The process for optimal dehydration includes a powerful initial mechanical dewatering stage followed by a second, heat-drying stage. - To increase the reliability of sludge treatment methods by developing special sensors linked to Expert software systems. - To study the impact of sludge treatment on the water treatment process, specifically the effect of head return of rehydration slurry. - To reduce the amount of sludge produced by biological treatment. - To design new ways of treatment that remove heavy metals and certain molecules such as organic chlorinated compounds. The last two objectives will require research on both waste water and sludge treatment processes. Due to the presence of potentially toxic substances, such as heavy metals and certain organic molecules that could reduce the value of the sludge, we consider that the project should include research on removing them from waste water, filtrates and all water backflows at the head of the plant. New Technology The design of new methods for treating and making good use of sludge requires technological innovations derived from basic biological, physiochemical and thermodynamic research: - Developing new polymers for coagulating and flocculating sludge. - Developing specific sensors linked to Expert Systems for treating sludge. - Specific adsorbants for toxic substances (metals, chlorinated organic compounds). - Designing a new generation of dryer-incinerators. - Introducing new types of biotechnology. - Developing new ways of putting sludge to beneficial use. All these innovations will first be developed and tested in the laboratory, then a semi-industrial pilot plant will be developed to integrate all the new sludge treatment processes on the same site. This test will also include a pilot for water treatment to supply sludge for the different processes tested. Aims - To produce reliable and higher performance sludge treatment. - To reduce sludge protection and make better use of it. - To upgrade a large number of the existing plants.
Acronym: 
STEP 2000
Project ID: 
608
Start date: 
19-06-1991
Project Duration: 
60months
Project costs: 
7 700 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.