Thermal hydrolysis

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Thermal Hydrolysis Plant in Cardiff, UK

Thermal hydrolysis is a two-stage process combining high-pressure boiling of waste or sludge followed by a rapid decompression. This combined action sterilizes the sludge and makes it more biodegradable, which improves digestion performance. Sterilization destroys pathogens in the sludge resulting in it exceeding the stringent requirements for land application (agriculture).[1]

In addition, the treatment adjusts the rheology to such an extent that loading rates to sludge anaerobic digesters can be doubled, and also dewaterability of the sludge is significantly improved. The first full-scale application of this process for sewage sludge was for the city of Hamar in Norway in 1996. Since then, there have been over 30 additional installations globally.

Commercial Application at a Wastewater treatment plant[edit]

Wastewater treatment plants, such as Blue Plains in Washington DC, have adopted thermal hydrolysis of sewage sludge in order to produce commercially valuable products (such as electricity and "class A" biosolid fertilizers) out of the wastewater.[2] The full-scale commercial application of thermal hydrolysis enables the plant to utilize the solids portion of the wastewater to make power and fine fertilizer directly from sewage waste.[3]

30 Largest Thermal Hydrolysis Plants[edit]

Plant Capacity (TDS/A) Commission Year Thermal Hydrolysis Supplier
Blue Plains, Washington DC, USA 130,000 2014 Cambi
Davyhulme, Manchester, UK 91,000 2012 Cambi
Ringsend, Dublin, Ireland 56,000 2002 Cambi
Howdon, UK 40,000 2010 Cambi
Riverside, UK 40,000 2009 Cambi
Tees Valley, UK 37,000 2008 Cambi
Crossness, UK 36,500 2013 Cambi
Beckton, UK 36,500 2013 Cambi
Cardiff, UK 30,000 2009 Cambi
Tilburg, Holland 29,000 2014 Cambi
Esholt, UK 26,400 2013 Veolia
Santiago, Chile 25,000 2010 Cambi
Oxford, UK 24,400 2010 Veolia
Vilnius, Lithuania 23,000 2010 Cambi
Whitlingham, UK 23,000 2008 Cambi
Vigo, Spain 22,000 2014 Cambi
Afan, UK 20,000 2009 Cambi
Bruxelles Nord, Belgium 20,000 2007 Cambi
Cotton Valley, Milton Keynes, UK 20,000 2007 Cambi
NOSES, Aberdeen, UK 16,500 2001 Cambi
Lille, France 16,400 2013 Veolia
EGE Waste Treatment, Oslo, Norway 15,000 2012 Cambi
Turku, Finland 14,000 2009 Cambi
Oxley Creek, Brisbane, Australia 12,900 2006 Cambi
Stavanger, Norway 11,800 2014 Cambi
Crawley, UK 11,300 2014 Cambi
Monza, Italy 10,200 2010 Veolia
Chertsey, UK 9,600 1999 Cambi
Anersfoort, Holland 9,000 2014 SH+E Group
Växjö, Sweden 8,600 2014 Cambi