Sludge recycling: make better use of your resources
Yesterday's constraints are today's opportunities: sludge naturally generated by wastewater treatment plants and wastewater treatment can be a valuable asset. Veolia Water Technologies supports all public and industry stakeholders to manage biosolids: an economic issue as well as an environmental issue.
Sludge treatment: a major environmental challenge
The treatment of industrial and domestic wastewater is a central issue for public safety and the environment. Since 2010, it is estimated that 5.5 billion cubic meters of wastewater was produced in France – that’s a volume of 175,000 litres needing to be treated every second across approximately 18,000 wastewater treatment plants in the country. Sludge treatment processes aim to avoid risks to the environment, and respect the water cycle and its circular economy.
Over the past several decades, Veolia Water Technologies has earned a reputation as the recognised specialist in wastewater treatment and new sanitation technologies. With global technological leadership, the Veolia Group has developed patented, innovative solutions to meet the needs of large industries as well as local authorities and public entities.
Why invest in sludge treatment?
Territorial methanisation, biowaste recycling, microfiltration…your primary and activated sludge should not simply be considered as waste and eliminated – but rather treated like a potentially valuable resource that can be a major source of competitiveness. In fact, the proper treatment of sludge and wastewater directly contributes to reducing the operating costs of water purification and treatment plants, by providing an economical outlet for some of the biowaste resulting from disintegration and settling processes.
According to ADEME, up to 60% of sludge from wastewater treatment plants can be recovered through innovative processes such as agronomic recycling, as well as integrated into new use cases in the context of agricultural spreading. Stabilisation of sludge by methanisation, on the other hand, offers the possibility of producing a large quantity of biogas.
Some key figures
In France in 2017, Veolia managed:
- More than 1,900 wastewater treatment plants on behalf of public authorities.
- 637 million cubic metres of wastewater and 12.9 million inhabitants served by a sanitation network.
Which technologies for sludge treatment?
The solutions developed by Veolia Water Technologies enable compliance with strict specifications—reduction of mud produced during wastewater purification, optimised valuation of remaining sludge, quality standards for effluents and sludge—as well as absolute respect for environmental standards. Discover some of the technologies used below.
Exelys™ and Biothelys™: thermal hydrolysis
Exelys™ and Biothelys™ have developed a sludge treatment technique based on the principle of thermal hydrolysis, coupled with anaerobic digestion and biogas generation. This solution significantly reduces the amount of organic sludge generated during water treatment processes—up to 35% less solids—leading to an additional 30-50% biogas production.
Anita™: nitrogen sludge treatment
The main objective of the Anita™ range is treating nitrogen concentrations naturally present in certain sludge and wastewater, in order to better guarantee the reuse or valorisation of treated flows. The compact device meets the latest applicable standards and is distinguished by a very low energy consumption – which is close to true self-sufficiency.
Bioco™: optimised thermal drying
Rapid sludge drying is an unavoidable and essential process for recovery and extraction. Bioco™ technology breaks new ground by introducing the principle of an opposite circulation of sludge and drying air – heated up to 170 ° C – within the circuit. The device allows optimal recovery of valuable biosolids while eliminating any risk of material ignition.
Solia™: greenhouse drying
Solia™ is the reference technology for solar sludge drying. The process takes advantage of natural heat generated by the sun to quickly dry materials stored under glass. The solution is aimed at both public authorities and small and medium-sized businesses looking for a compact, economical and environmentally friendly sludge treatment solution.
Pyrofluid™: ash incineration and recovery
Pyrofluid™ solution promotes the rapid and efficient removal of primary and secondary sludge by incineration in a fluidised bed furnace. Brought to a temperature of 850°C, the sludge instantly combusts—in around two seconds—generating a bed of ash that can be upgraded downstream. Pyrofluid™ is an ideal technology for large urban communities and certain industries.
Athos™: total elimination by oxidation
Athos™ technology is based on the principle of wet oxidation or OVH. This innovative solution focuses on the mineralisation of sludge. The sludge is preheated and then injected with high doses of pure oxygen to generate a mineral solid.
For the production of biogas to farm fertiliser, sludge treatment and related technologies continue to improve. Don’t hesitate to contact Veolia Water Technologies now for a better valorisation of your resources.