The development and optimisation of a pilot-scale sustainable sewage sludge treatment technologies with energy and materials recovery

Started: October 2016

Supervisor: Dr Geoff Fowler

Industry Partner: Thames Water

Description of Research

Our perception of sewage sludge is changing. Once considered a problematic waste, this valuable resource is now being recognised and exploited for its valuable energy and nutrient content. Thames Water and its partners have led the way in sludge treatment innovation, and are in the process of constructing a first of its kind process with the aim of maximising value recovery from sewage sludge. With over 2 million dry tonnes of sewage sludge produced annually in the UK, this process also aims to provide significant volume reduction therefore reducing the burden upon alternative disposal routes. This research will help develop an understanding of the relationship between process inputs, operational parameters and outputs (e.g. energy flows), with the aim of optimising the new process for value recovery and reliability. There will also be an in-depth analysis of the final products, to maximise their potential for reuse and hence contribute to the circular economy.