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Thermal Processing of Biosolids

Walter R. Niessen, PE, BCEE

Assisted by the massive construction grant program of the Water Pollution Control Act, a large number of primary and secondary municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants were brought on-line in the United States during the period 1970 to 1990. The plants generate large quantities of waste solids. These "biosolids" include several waste streams:
  • Primary Sludge
  • Biological ("secondary") Sludge
  • Advanced Wastewater Treatment Sludge; and
  • Other Treatment Plant Solids (screenings, grit, scum)
Management of these waste solids and, more specifically, the three sludge types can be affected by many means. Here, we consider the thermal processes: drying and incineration and, briefly, the preparatory steps of mechanical dewatering and handling/feeding. These topics are preceded by a brief summary of the physical and chemical characteristics of the sludge solids.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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