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Application of the wet oxidation process to the treatment of municipal sewage sludge

, : Application of the wet oxidation process to the treatment of municipal sewage sludge. Environmental Technology 21(10): 1193-1198, October

Wet oxidation (WO) technology is an alternative to normally accepted methods of sewage sludge treatment and discharge. This can comply with environmental standards. The results of tests carried out on a continuous-feed pilot unit, treating municipal sewage sludge, highlight the significant influence of the temperature in the oxidation reactor where a COD removal efficiency greater than 80% can be achieved at 300degreeC without any catalyst addition. Tests have also revealed that at temperatures around 240degreeC, foaming can seriously impair the operation of the reactor, because of the presence of non-degraded fatty compounds and surfactants. Some compounds present from the outset or produced in the reactor are resistant to oxidation under subcritical conditions: such is the case of ammonia whose return to the wastewater treatment plant inlet creates an additional 20 to 30% load in relation to the nitrogen contained in the raw water. It is therefore essential to include specific biological treatment of the ammonia liquid phase or to adapt the design of the treatment plant for removing the ammonia released from WO. The study has revealed that the reaction temperature has a considerable effect on the volatile matter content of the final solid waste: it is evident that, given the expected evolution of regulations governing thermal process, WO units will have to be operated in such a way as to reduce the impact of these by-products to a minimum, and to study ways in which they might be reused.


DOI: 10.1080/09593332108618040

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