New process for filtering microplastics
The problem of microplastic residues in sewage sludge – and its solution
The microplastic cycle begins and ends with humans. Whether tyre wear, cosmetics or synthetic fibres – the plastic particles ultimately end up in wastewater or groundwater and later, through the consumption of fish and seafood, back with us humans. Although most microplastics are removed from wastewater in wastewater treatment plants, they remain in sewage sludge. Up to now, there have been no adequate microplastic filters for sewage sludge treatment.
Despite the installation of a pre-treatment stage in sewage treatment plants, sewage sludge contains high proportions of microplastic particles and polyester microfibres as well as non-organic substances and impurities. Our partner, ReTech Resources Technology GmbH, has developed a new process for this in research cooperation with us.
Our alternative to sewage sludge disposal or mono-incineration significantly increases the share of added value from sewage sludge and offers an innovative integrated technology for the treatment and re-use of municipal wastewater streams.
Our microplastic filter: Pre-filtration with the
The first step in our overall sewage sludge treatment process is pre-filtration with our specially developed RT-microplastic separator.
This enables us to separate a filter cake containing all non-organic components and impurities, including microfibres and microplastic particles. The discharged filter cake with all impurities can be disposed of in a controlled process with a very good residual moisture content. The cleaned sewage sludge flows via the filter element into a so-called clean tank and is fed from this clean tank to a further dewatering process that usually takes place.
The overall process: Overall process for sewage sludge treatment
New cleaning stages
for the sewage treatment plant
In our sewage sludge treatment, heavy metals, other pollutants, resistant germs and antibiotic residues are separated in advance by means of ultrasound disintegration, solid-liquid separation and filtration. By combining mechanical, chemical and biological process technologies, a high-quality, humus-like product is produced, which is established in the agricultural industry as a substitute for primary material-based products. Furthermore, targeted nutrient recovery in the form of nitrogen and phosphorus recycling is carried out. The phosphorus in the form of struvite from MAP crystallisation or calcination can either be added as a nutrient to the humus-like product or, in a further process step, phosphoric acid can be recovered and fed back into the process.
We consider a possible modular integration of the sub-processes of the intended retrofit concept of our RT-microplastic separator into existing systems as an important element of a sustainable adaptation strategy for future challenges.
Interested in the new microplastic filtration process?
ReTech Resources GmbH and we would be happy to consult you on our new separation process for wastewater treatment plants for improved filtration of sewage sludge.
Environmental added value with sewage sludge treatment
The Re-Use Idea
Enormous reduction of harmful substances
(coarse disturbances up to microplastics)
Increasing the stability of the overall process
Due to dry substance values of approx. 40% of the separated non-organic components
By separation of the substances
no return to the environment
Improvement of the initial situation for the production of
humus soil & possibility of agricultural spreading
No carbon loss
Which is urgently needed in agriculture
Re-use of water from municipal wastewater treatment plants
For the irrigation of agricultural land
Dewatering without the use of synthetic polymers
Annual savings through the use of biodegradable flocculants, cost reduction as well as no environmental impact
microplastics on the track
More on the path of plastic particles in the water cycle and microplastics in sewage treatment plants
How exactly do the plastic particles get into our wastewater? What path does microplastic take in the sewage treatment plant? Why is it not yet possible to remove it completely from wastewater and sewage sludge? And how exactly does our innovative process for the mechanical cleaning of sewage sludge in the sewage treatment plant work? We address these and other questions in detail in our blog article on sewage sludge treatment.
Start now with us in sewage sludge treatment
ReTech Resources Technology GmbH is our cooperation partner and with our support is your contact in matters of sewage sludge treatment – for regional added value and nutrient recovery. Start your next project with us and our partner now.