Wet oxidation in subcritical conditions is a new alternative to usual routes for sewage sludge treatment and it complies with environmental standards. The paper presents tests carried out on a batch reactor and on a continuous pilot unit, treating municipal sewage sludge. A method is proposed that shows that the oxidation efficiency in a continuous reactor can only be easily predicted from the residence time distribution and batch tests results. Nevertheless, a partial settling of the solid residue in the continuous bubble column reactor is evident, and it increases the solid residence time and then decreases its organic content with respect to a similar batch test. In addition, these results highlight the considerable influence of temperature in the oxidation reactor and of the type of sewage sludge which is treated. At temperatures around 240deg;C, foaming can seriously impair the operation of the continuous reactor, because of the presence of non-degraded fatty compounds and surfactants. Moreover, the COD reduction is limited to 70%. On the contrary, at 300deg;C, COD removal efficiency greater than 80% is achieved without any catalyst additive and, in addition, only highly biodegradable compounds remain in the oxidised liquor.

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