Operation of the new ATHOS® Units (Veolia Water’s Wet Oxidation System) at Epernay-en-Champagne, France and Truccazzano, Italy

Gilbert, A.B.1, Crétenot, D.2, Chauzy, J.2, Favali, G.3
1Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, UK, 2Veolia Water Direction Technique, France, 3SIBA, SpA, Italy


The ATHOS® Process has now been commissioned at the first two sites: Epernay-en-Champagne and Truccazzano. This
marks the realisation of the commercialisation of the design and development, of a viable and reliable Wet Oxidation Process
to the market place. Another ATHOS® scheme, North Brussels, will be commissioned and operational before the beginning
of 2007, whilst the unit at the Aix-en-Provence site is due for completion in 2008.
The ATHOS® Plant at Truccazzano has a capacity of ~625 kg DS/h and is the first of a number of sites which will utilise the
ATHOS® Wet Oxidation process to minimise the complete inventory of biosolid residuals by flameless oxidation, to come into
service. The second facility at Epernay-en-Champagne has a design capacity of ~305 kg DS/h and started full time operation in March this year (2006).
The main principle of ATHOS® is the thermal oxidation of the biosolid residuals in the liquid phase. Ideally, to reduce the
oxygen demand these materials should be digested to reduce the Volatile Matter loading prior to their minimisation. The
effluents from the process are a solid mineral complex, a liquid effluent (containing the easy biodegradeable residual COD
not converted by the process) and a controlled gas release to atmosphere. The system utilises pure oxygen as the oxidising
agent and minimises the release of off-gas.

The ATHOS® minimisation facility can be designed to treat not only the indigenous biosolids from a Wastewater facility but
can also minimise imported material. For instance at Truccazzano over half of the design load is from other sites, whilst the
Epernay unit treats only indigenous biosolid. The Volatile Matter content of the mixed sludge determines the required
concentration for autothermal operation of the ATHOS® process.

Operating data for the two ATHOS® sites will be presented together with a review of the optimisation of the operating
conditions for these two sites (Epernay-en-Champagne and Truccazzano). Also the reasoning behind selection of the
ATHOS® process for biosoild minimisation in lieu of other thermal oxidation process (Incineration, super-critical wet oxidation)
will be explored together with the main design characteristics.

The author was unable to meet the full paper deadline.

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