Overcoming the issues of transporting dewatered sludge
04 February 2019
The recent Water 2020 report published by the regulator Ofwat encourages sludge trading markets between operators in order to move sludge from a company where it is expensive to treat, to one that is cheaper. Ofwat modelling suggests that if its proposed changes are implemented, around 30 percent of all sludge could move between different water companies.
Wherever it ends up, this sludge will need to be processed. The proposed changes will make it increasingly necessary to transport dewatered sludge over long distances, for example to a thermal processing energy plant. However, a long pipeline does not have to be a barrier to efficient sludge transfer. The SEEPEX Smart Air Injection (patent pending) combines the advantages of two conveying technologies to transport dewatered sludge with high dry solids content over long distances in an energy-efficient manner. Dewatered sludge (or other highly viscous media) is introduced into the pipeline using a progressive cavity pump, forming compacted material which is split into ‘plugs’ and pushed down pipelines of up to 1,000 metres using compressed air.
The future of sludge transfer
This alternative to conventional means of handling dewatered sludge has already been installed at a number of plants throughout Europe, and has generated a rapid return on investment. It is an interesting option for the UK’s sludge treatment centres, as not only can the SAI transfer dewatered sludge over distances of up to a 1,000 metres, it is also economical because the total investment and running costs are comparatively low. SAI is being integrated into one of the UK’s largest water companies, as an energy-efficient, high-performance alternative to conventional sludge handling systems. The customised pumping solution is being engineered to fulfill the plant’s specific requirements and to be configured at the location for optimum energy consumption.
Read the full article in the February issue of DPA
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