Proceedings

Thermal hydrolysis offerings and performance

Williams, T.O.1, Burrowes, P.2

1CH2M, USA. 2CH2M, CANADA

(free)

Abstract

There is growing significant interest in the use of thermal hydrolysis technology in conjunction with mesophilic anaerobic digestion (AD) to manage biosolids in the North America marketplace. This is being driven by the desire to obtain Class A exceptional quality biosolids and to improve the dewaterability of the biosolids to reduce the amount of solids that subsequently must be managed.  Because of this interest, a number of thermal hydrolysis vendors are entering the marketplace. Cambi has developed the majority of operating facilities worldwide. In North America, Cambi has one operating facility in Washington, DC (DCWater). Other vendors are aggressively working to enter the thermal hydrolysis marketplace including Veolia with their Kruger BioTHELYS® and Exelys™ offerings, Sustec/Turbotec and Haarslev. Nuances between traditional processing of the entire solids stream through these thermal hydrolysis processes (THP) and development of alternative processing of only a portion of the solids stream, processing after digestion, and even intermediate processing between stages of digestion are being developed. Many claims are made in vendor literature related to these technology offerings and only recently has information about performance been available.  The purpose of this paper is to provide an unbiased review of the various thermal hydrolysis systems currently available in the marketplace to provide comparisons of actual performance of several full scale operating systems.

 

Keywords

Thermal Hydrolysis, Sewage Sludge, Anaerobic Digestion, Advanced Digestion, Biosolids

 

Introduction

There is growing significant interest in the use of thermal hydrolysis process (THP) technology in conjunction with mesophilic anaerobic digestion (AD) to manage biosolids in the North America marketplace. This is being driven by the desire to obtain Class A exceptional quality biosolids, to maximise volatile solids reduction and enhance biogas production from AD for use in combined heat and power systems, and to improve the dewaterability of the biosolids to reduce the amount of solids that subsequently must be managed.  Further, the reduced viscosity of the hydrolysed sludge allows feeding AD at much higher solids content which in essence, reduces the needed digester capacity by half or more over conventional mesophilic digestion alone. Because of this increasing interest in THP, a number of thermal hydrolysis vendors are entering the marketplace. Cambi has developed the majority of operating facilities worldwide. Further, because Cambi has been developing systems for more than 20 years, their technology

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