Municipal sewage sludge is a carrier of nutrients – most important phosphorus (P) – but also contains organic pollutants and heavy metals. A two steps thermal treatment based on 1. mono-incineration of sewage sludge under destruction of organic pollutants and 2. thermochemical treatment of the resulting ashes to remove heavy metals and increase P-bioavailability is suggested by the authors. The process aims at P-fertilisers production from sewage sludge. Seven sewage sludge ashes of different origin and composition and one residue from gasification of sewage sludge were thermochemically treated. The raw ashes were mixed with a chlorine donor (e.g. MgCl2) and thermally treated in a gas tight lab-scale rotary furnace. The distributions of the heavy metals between solid and gas phase were determined. The heavy metals concentrations of the treated ashes matched the legislative limits in most cases. The products from thermochemical treatment are suited raw materials for P-fertiliser production. Relevant process parameters such as temperature, type and concentration of Cl-donor and retention time were optimised for the thermochemical treatment step.

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