Dried sludge as additive for making ceramsite is a new effective approach for disposal of sludge. In this study sewage sludge, water glass and clay were chosen as the components, the optimal ratio of the components and the most appropriate conditions were obtained. The functions of primary components in the sintering process, porosity formation mechanism and solid phase reaction also have been discussed. The optimized process parameters were shown as follows: the ratio of dried sludge /clay (wt%) was 33%, ratio of adherent /clay (wt%) was 15%, sintering temperature was 1000 °C, sintering time was 10 min. Bulk density was 582 kg m−3, particle density was 1,033 kg m−3, water absorption was 9.5%, porosity was 43.7%. SEM, EDS, XRD and XRF analyses were also carried out. The results indicate that dried sludge as raw material is a good way for making ceramsite. Biological Aerated Filters (BAFs) with filter media of Guangzhou ceramsite, Jiangxi ceramsite, activated carbon and ceramsite (obtained in test) were selected to treat municipal wastewater. The average removal efficiencies of ceramsite (obtained in test) for turbidity, COD, SCOD and NH3-N were about 96.4%, 76.2%, 59.6% and 82.3% respectively and were higher than those of other ceramsites.

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