‘Zero energy’ electron beam technology for sludge hygienization

Open access

Abstract

Large quantity of sewage sludge originating from wastewater treatment plants is becoming a growing problem from environmental and human health points of view. One of the ways to use sewage sludge is agricultural purpose due to its nutrients and organic matter content, but the condition is that it should be deprived of pathogenic bacteria and parasite egg contamination. Application of ionizing radiation to hygienize sewage sludge can make it appropriate for agricultural use. The process does not require addition of chemicals to sludge; it is environmentally friendly and effective in removal of biological threats. In the past, successful attempts of sewage sludge treatment using ionizing radiation were made. Pilot plants and commercial ones proved that pathogens can be easily removed from sewage sludge by ionizing radiation. The concept of ‘zero energy’ biogas plant is based on the construction of a complex system consisting of biogas plant and electron accelerator in the biofertilizer manufacturing line. Digestate originating from the methane fermentation of sewage sludge is irradiated to remove all pathogens using electron beam from an accelerator powered by electric energy obtained from burning biogas in a cogenerator. The product is a high-quality, biologically safe fertilizer.

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