Measurements and modelling for sludge thermal valorization

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The incineration of biological sludge is a very complex process, entailing several phases: moisture evaporation (drying), release of combustible gas (pyrolysis), oxidation of the residual char (combustion).
Both designing incineration systems and choosing their operating parameters require sophisticated thermofluidynamic (CFD) models.
To be effective, CFD models must reliably reproduce the many physical-chemical phenomena that actually take place.
The validity of such models can be verified only based on data measured on pilot plant that have been modelled.

Planned activities within PerFORM WATER 2030

The experimental activities regarding measurements and modelling for sludge thermal valorization are part of the Biosolid valorization research line included in PerFORM WATER 2030. They are closely related to the experimental activities about sludge thermal valorization described .
Activities include the development of several thermofluidynamic models to support the design and tuning of the pilot plant for sludge incineration. The elaboration of the data measured on the pilot plant is another activity, which is aimed at validating the developed models.

Objectives and expected results

  • Optimizing the design parameters of grate-based sludge incinerators.

  • Evaluate the energy performances of the pilot plant for biological sludge incineration.

  • Optimizing the operating parameters of biological sludge incineration.

Description of the activities

  • Development of thermofluidynamic models for biological sludge over-grate combustion (sludge drying, pyrolysis, oxidation).

  • Use of such models to optimize the configuration and the operating parameters of grate-based sludge incinerators.

  • Elaborate the data measured on the pilot plant for sludge incineration.

Pilot site

The experimental activities will be located at San Giuliano Milanese West WWTP (Wastewater treatment plant) operated by CAP Group.
For further information, please refer to the specific web-page dedicated to demonstration sites of PerFORM WATER 2030.

Partners involved

DENG Department of Politecnico di Milano provides scientific and modelling support to design the pilot plant for biological sludge incineration and to choose the optimal operating parameters.
Vomm Impianti e Processi is in charge of the actual design and the construction of the plant. The results of the experimentation are elaborated by POLIMI DENG to allow the validation of the developed models. Once validated, such models will be the basis to design, build and operate future real-scale plants.

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