Different treatment routes have been studied for a mixed sludge: the conventional agricultural use is compared with the thermal oxidation processes, including incineration (in gaseous phase) and wet air oxidation (in liquid phase). The interest of a sludge digestion prior to the final treatment has been also considered according to the two major criteria, which are the fossil energy utilisation and the greenhouse effect gases (CO2, CH4, N2O) release. Thermal energy has to be recovered on thermal processes to make these processes environmentally friendly, otherwise their main interest is to extract or destroy micropollutants and pathogens from the carbon cycle. In case of continuous energy recovery, incineration can produce more energy than it consumes. Digestion is especially interesting for agriculture: according to these two schemes, the energy final balance can also be in excess. As to wet air oxidation, it is probably one of the best ways to minimize greenhouse effect gases emission.

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