Water innovation: The power of biosolids from wastewater
Updated: Oct 5
Rapid urbanisation and population growth is driving an increase in the volume of biosolids and sludge from wastewater treatment. SUEZ is a leader in the treatment of sludge, helping local authorities and operators transform biosolids into a new energy source, a fertiliser for agriculture and for land rehabilitation and landscaping.
Growing sludge volumes as a by-product of wastewater treatment pose both economic and environmental challenges for local authorities and operators. Regulations relating to sludge disposal are becoming more stringent as volumes increase. Municipalities seek to reduce sludge volumes, improve sludge quality, protect the local environment, and harness advanced technologies to extract and recover the valuable resources in wastewater.
SUEZ’s innovative technologies and thermal treatments help local authorities to meet stringent targets, and solutions help our customers meet and exceed their sustainability goals.
Three uses of biosolids
Biosolids are nutrient-rich organic materials that are created when sewage is stabilised by a treatment process such as digestion at a wastewater treatment facility. These valuable resources have many uses. SUEZ’s innovative technologies and processes enable us to recover by-products from wastewater sludge such as energy, nutrients, soil enhancers and fertilisers.
1. Clean biogas energy from sludge
The process of anaerobic digestion acts to stabilise the sludge from wastewater and converts the volatile solids to biogas. Once captured, biogas can produce heat and electricity for use in large gas engines thus creating a powerful source of sustainable green energy.
2. The power of clean biofuel from waste
Refined biogas, known as biomethane, can be used to power homes and businesses, or as clean biofuel for cars, buses and commercial fleets. Enough biomethane can be recovered from the annual sewage sludge of 100,000 residents to power 20 buses or trucks, or 100 cars, saving 525,000 litres of diesel fuel.
3. Agricultural fertiliser from sludge
Sewage sludge contains high levels of phosphorus. SUEZ technologies convert the phosphorus present in wastewater into fertiliser products that offer superior slow-release effects over chemical fertilisers. Phosphorus recovery from sludge also offers a valuable alternative to phosphate rock mining for reduced environmental footprint and reduces maintenance costs in the wastewater treatment plant through controlled struvite precipitation.
SUEZ is both project manager and water treatment specialist, enabling full control of all stages in the design and build of water treatment facilities. SUEZ understands the careful planning needed to design and construct a comprehensive solution. From advanced digestion to dryers to thermal oxidation, SUEZ has a broad range of solutions to solve biosolids management challenges.
Explore biosolids management and by-products recovery solutions from SUEZ.
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