Wet oxidation (WO) in subcritical conditions is a new alternative to usual routes for sewage sludge treatment that complies with environmental standards. This paper presents tests carried out using a batch reactor and continuous pilot and industrial units, treating municipal sewage sludge. The main products after oxidation are CO2, water, VFA and ammonia. The results highlight the considerable influence of the treatment temperature and of the type of sewage sludge which is treated. At temperatures around 240°C, VFA fraction present in WO supernatant is limited to 50% because of the presence of non-degraded fatty compounds and surfactants. Moreover, the COD reduction is limited to 70%. On the contrary, at 300°C, COD removal efficiencies greater than 80% are achieved without any catalyst addition and, in addition, only highly biodegradable compounds remain in the oxidised liquor. In order to treat the residual ammonia nitrogen by biological processes, it is therefore necessary to obtain a VFA fraction as high as possible for achieving denitrification and then to operate the WO process at high temperature and without catalyst addition.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.