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Electric fields boost energy production and cut operating costs of sewage and biogas plants

By Gerald Ondrey |

Last month at the IFAT Entsorga trade fair (September 13–17; Munich, Germany), Süd-Chemie AG (Munich; www.sud-chemie.com) introduced a chemical-free process that increases the energy production of wastewater-purification and biogas plants by as much as 30% while significantly reducing the disposal costs of sewage treatment plants. The electrokinetic disintegration process exposes biological sludge in sewage plants to a strong electric field, which breaks down the extra-cellular polymeric substances (cell structures and cell membranes) and stabilizes the biological sludge. As a result, the conversion of the energy contained in the biological cells of the sludge to methane gas in the biochemical processes in the digester is considerably more efficient, says the company. The energy that is produced is then used to operate the purification plant. Because only an electric field is applied (no electrical current), the energy needed for the disintegration plant is negligible. The process was developed together with technology partners UAS Messtechnik GmbH (Viechtach, Germany; www.uas.de) and the University of Applied Sciences Deggendorf (Germany; www.fh-deggendorf.de). The first implementation of the disintegration technology was…
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