You are on page 1of 27

Sludge Treatment and Disposal - 1

Mohamed Hasnain Isa Civil Engineering Department Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS 31750 Tronoh, Perak, Malaysia

Learning Outcomes 2, 3, 5, 6
 Able to manage biosolids resulting from treatment of water and wastewater.  Able to apply engineering principles to design water and wastewater treatment processes.  Able to identify/solve water and wastewater problems (domestic and industrial). .

 To identify the sources and characteristics of water and wastewater sludges.  To explain methods for sludge thickening.  To analyse and design gravity sludge thickener.

Sources and Characteristics of Solids and Sludges

 depend on the type of plant and method of operation

Sludge Thickening
 physical process  increases the concentration of solids of sludge  reduces sludge volume to facilitate ease in handling, treatment and disposal

Gravity Thickener
      resembles a circular sedimentation tank and has vertical slats or pickets attached to the sludge scraper arm as the scraper arm moves slowly the pickets gently stir the sludge to release trapped water and air from it the thickened sludge is withdrawn from the bottom and the supernatant is recycled to the treatment plant inlet can thicken sludge to more than 10 % solids designed based on thickener overflow rate & solids loading high hydraulic loading can cause excessive sludge carry over whereas low hydraulic loading can cause septic conditions and odours and result in floating sludge provisions should be included for adding up to 24 to 30 m3/m2.d of dilution water (final effluent) to the thickening tank to maintain aerobic conditions Gravity thickner should be not more than 20 m in diameter

Table Recommended hydraulic overflow rates for gravity thickeners Type of sludge Primary Waste activated sludge Combined primary and waste activated sludge Max. overflow rate, m3/m2.d 15.5-31 4-8 6-12

Sludge influent

Inlet baffle Slats/pickets Supernatant overflow

Scraper blades Sludge discharge

Figure Gravity sludge thickener


Figure Gravity sludge thickener (empty)

Figure Gravity sludge thickener (partially filled)


Table Typical sludge concentrations and solid loading for gravity thickeners
Type of sludge Separate: Primary sludge Trickling filter RBC Air-ASP High purity oxygen-ASP Extended aeration-ASP Anaerobically digested primary sludge from primary digester 2-6 1-4 1-3.5 0.5-1.5 0.5-1.5 0.2-1.0 8 5-10 3-6 2-5 2-3 2-3 2-3 12 100-150 40-50 35-50 20-40 20-40 25-40 120 Solids concentration, % Unthickened Thickened Solids loading kg/m2.d


Type of sludge Combined: Primary and trickling filter Primary and RBC Primary and waste activated sludge Trickling filter and waste activated sludge Chemical (tertiary): High lime Low lime Iron

Solids concentration, % Unthickened Thickened 2-6 2-6 0.5-1.5 2.5-4.0 0.5-2.5 5-9 5-8 4-6 4-7 2-4

contd. Solids loading kg/m2.d 60-100 50-90 25-70 40-80 20-40

3-4.5 3-4.5 0.5-1.5

12-15 10-12 3-4

120-300 50-150 10-50


Figure Suspended solids and BOD removal as a function 14 of surface overflow rate

Figure Excessive sludge production v. F/M ratio


Dissolved Air Floatation

 air is forced into solution under pressure and then mixed with sludge in the influent  the mixture enters a floatation tank and the rising air bubbles carry the sludge flocs to the liquid surface  the layer of thickened sludge formed on the liquid surface is skimmed off  the skimmed effluent exits as underflow  sludge can be thickened to about 6 % solids by floatation


 thickening of solids by floatation is primarily influenced by air-to-solids ratio, sludge characteristics (in particular the SVI), solids loading rate and polymer application  the air-to-solid ratio at which the float solids are maximised ranges from 2 to 4 %  good thickening has been observed with SVI less than 200  higher loadings can be used with dissolved air floatation than gravity thickeners due to the rapid separation of solids from the wastewater


Sludge Pressurized air Influent

Sludge skimming Rising air bubbles with sludge Effluent

Figure Sludge thickening by dissolved air floatation


Table Typical solids loadings for sludge thickeners using dissolved air floatation
Type of sludge Solids loading, kg/m2.h Without chemical addition Air-ASP: Mixed liquor Settled High purity oxygen-ASP Trickling filter Primary and air ASP Primary and trickling filter Primary sludge only 1.2-3.0 2.4-4.0 3.0-4.0 3.0-4.0 3.0-6.0 4.0-6.0 4.0-6.0 Up to 10 Up to 10 Up to 10 Up to 10 Up to 10 Up to 10 Up to 12.5 With chemicals addition


If entire flow is pressurised,

A 1.3sa ( fP  1) ! S Sa
where A/S = air to solids ratio, mL (air)/mg (solids) sa = air solubility, mL/L f = fraction of air dissolved at pressure P, usually 0.5

p  101.35 P = pressure, atm = 101.35

Sa = influent suspended solids, mg/L

If only recycle is pressurised,

A 1.3sa ( fP  1) R ! S SaQ
where R = pressurised recycle, m3/d Q = mixed liquor flow, m3/d Temp., C sa, mL/L 0 29.2 10 22.8 20 18.7 30 15.7


Q.1 The flow diagram for a wastewater treatment plant is as shown below. The following information is also given: Treatment plant: Diameter of PST = 20 m Volume of aeration tank = 2 500 m3 MLSS in aeration tank = 3 000 mg/l Wastewater: Influent suspended solids = 220 mg/l Influent BOD = 250 mg/l Effluent BOD = 20 mg/l Flow = 20 000 m3/d Sludge solids: Primary sedimentation tank = 3.5 % Secondary sedimentation tank = 0.8 % Gravity thickener = 5 %


Determine: (i) the mass and volumetric loading rates to the thickener. (ii) the percent volume reduction by the gravity thickener.


Primary Sedimentation Tank

Aeration Tank Return sludge

Secondary Sedimentation Tank


Gravity Thickener

Thickened sludge disposal

Return liquid


Q.2 Design a gravity thickener for a wastewater treatment plant with the following sludge characteristics:
Type of sludge Average design conditions: Primary sludge Waste activated Peak design conditions: Primary sludge Waste activated 1.03 1.005 3.4 0.23 420 2500 1.03 1.005 3.3 0.2 400 2250 Specific gravity Solids % Flow rate m3/d


Q.3 Design a floatation thickener without and with pressurised recycle to thicken the solids in an activated sludge mixed liquor from 0.2 to 4%. The following conditions apply:

Optimum A/S ratio = 0.012 mL/mg Temperature = 20 C Air solubility = 18.7 mL/L Recycle system pressure = 280 kPa Fraction of saturation = 0.5 Surface loading rate = 9 L/m2.min Sludge flow rate = 500 m3/d



Thank you