Abstract

Sludges produced in biological wastewater treatment plants have rich organic materials in their characteristics. Recent research studies have focused on the energy recovery from sludge due to its high organic content. The gasification process is a thermal conversion technology transforming the chemical energy contained in a solid fuel into thermal energy and electricity. The produced syngas as a mixture of CO, CH4, H2 and other gases can be used to generate electrical energy. The gasification of yeast industry sludge has been experimentally evaluated in a pilot scale downdraft-type gasifier as a route towards the energy recovery. The gasifier has 20 kg biomass/h fuel capacity. During gasification, the temperature achieved was more than 1,000°C in the gasifier, and then the syngas was transferred to the gas engine to yield the electricity. A load was connected to the grid box and approximately 1 kWh electrical power generation for 1 kg dry sludge was determined. The characteristics of residuals – ash, glassy material – were also analyzed. It was found that most of the heavy metals were fixed in the glassy material. Experimental results showed that the yeast industry sludge was an appropriate material for gasification studies and remarkable energy recovery was obtained in terms of power production by using syngas.

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