Report No DWI0183

Dewatering Sewage Sludge by Centrifuge

DWI0183

SUMMARY

Experience on the continent and trials in the UK since the introduction of polyelectrolytes suggest that centrifuging is now a practical and economical method of dewatering raw or digested sewage sludges.

The scroll conveyor bowl centrifuge is the most suitable type for dewatering sewage sludge.

Activated sludge cannot be dewatered economically by centrifuge unless mixed with primary sludge, but the batch and conical disc types show promise for thickening

The scroll conveyor bowl centrifuge is mechanicaily reliable, but the hard surfacing on the scroll has to be refurbished at intervals depending on the nature of the sludge.

The performance of a centrifuge depends on a number of operational variables, each of which may influence the effects of the others. The number of possible combinations of settings makes it difficult to predict accurately the performance on a given sludge.

Preliminary trials should be conducted to establish the optimum throughout, chemical consumption, cake and centrate qualities. From these trials the performance of larger machines of similar design can be predicted with sufficient accuracy for setting guarantees.

The effects of the operation variables are summarised below:

 

VARIABLE

-

CHANGE

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT

Feed Rate

-

decrease

recovery and centrate

Feed solids

-

increase

recovery

 

-

decrease

centrate

Pond depth

-

increase

recovery and centrate or throughput

 

-

decrease

cake

Chem.dose

-

increase

recovery and centrate or throughput

Bowl speed

-

increase

cake, recovery and centrate, or throughput

Conveyor speed

-

decrease

cake and centrate

 

The present reasonable cost of dewatering sewage sludge by centrifuge, including capital charges and all running costs, is probably between 7 and 15 per T.ds according to the type of sludge and size of installation.

Although the cost of chemical conditioning per T.ds will not vary much with size of installation, the percentage of the total annual cost will be about 20% for small installations and up to 50% for large installations.

Copies of this report may be available as an Acrobat pdf download under the 'Pre 2000 Reports' heading on the DWI website.