Old dog performs new tricks – an update on Chertsey – the role of enhanced steam explosion in a thermal hydrolysis plant

Panter, K.1 and Nilsen, P.J.2, 1Ebcor Ltd, UK, 2Cambi, Norway



The Chertsey Cambi Thermal Hydrolysis Plant (THP) was the first in the UK and has been in operation since 1998. The plant was updated in 2005 and has subsequently been operating at very high performance and availability. The plant was originally sized to treat 22 dry tonnes of sludge per day. This was thought to be near limit of the digestion system. The operating method has been changed to deliver a greater flash disintegration. At the same time both THP and digester loading has been increased so that treating 30 dry tonnes per day and above is possible and becoming more routine. The biogas specific biogas production appears to be unaffected at these high organic loadings (greater than 7kg VS/m3/day) and short hydraulic retention time (HRT 10-12 days). Information is presented on both theoretical maximum loadings for digestion and how steam explosion can affect the digestion of various substrates. This has implications for both the digestion of sludge and also for co-digestion of biowastes.


Anaerobic Digestion, Dewatering, Thermal Hydrolysis, CHP, steam explosion

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