Sludge management accounts for approximately 60% of the total wastewater treatment plant expenditure and laws for sludge disposal are becoming increasingly stringent, therefore much consideration is required when designing a solids handling process. A membrane thickening aerobic digestion process integrates a controlled aerobic digestion process with pre-thickening waste activated sludge using membrane technology. This process typically features an anoxic tank, an aerated membrane thickener operating in loop with a first-stage digester followed by second-stage digestion. Membrane thickening aerobic digestion processes can handle sludge from any liquid treatment process and is best for facilities obligated to meet low total phosphorus and nitrogen discharge limits. Membrane thickening aerobic digestion processes offer many advantages including: producing a reusable quality permeate with minimal levels of total phosphorus and nitrogen that can be recycled to the head works of a plant, protecting the performance of a biological nutrient removal liquid treatment process without requiring chemical addition, providing reliable thickening up to 4% solids concentration without the use of polymers or attention to decanting, increasing sludge storage capacities in existing tanks, minimizing the footprint of new tanks, reducing disposal costs, and providing Class B stabilization.

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