In the framework of a program for environmental protection conducted by the German mountaineers' club (DAV) problems emerging from residual solids accumulating in on-site wastewater treatment plants of mountain refuges were investigated. To handle these problems in an ecologically and economically reasonable way two devices for solar-supported treatment of sludge and bio-solids have been developed. These units support gravity-filtration and evaporation of liquid sludge as well as thermal acceleration of composting processes. Two solar sludge dryers were installed and operated without external energy supply at alpine refuges treating primary and secondary sludge, respectively. Batch-filling during the season could increase load capacity and a total solids concentration of up to 40% could be achieved before discharge at the beginning of the next season. The promising results from the solar sludge dryer encouraged for the development of a solar composter. The period of temperature levels suitable for composting biosolids in mountain areas can be extended considerably by application of this technology – measured temperature distribution indicated no freezing at all.
Solar-thermic sewage sludge treatment in extreme alpine environments
W. Becker, M.A. Schoen, B. Wett; Solar-thermic sewage sludge treatment in extreme alpine environments. Water Sci Technol 1 December 2007; 56 (11): 1–9. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2007.726
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