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The New England Fertilizer Company (NEFCO), in cooperation with the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) has built and is now operating a full-scale demonstration facility for enrichment of anaerobically digested biosolids. The Tidewater Fertilizer Company Fertilizer, operating under license of Harmony Products Inc., is designed to produce a variety of organic fertilizers using various nutrients, polymerized slow-release nitrogen, and up to 80 wet tons of biosolids per week. This paper discusses the development of the process itself, with a focus on the material handling and the choice of specific processing equipment, as well as an updating of the operation and viability evaluation.

While there were small-scale pilot tests run to demonstrate the feasibility of individual portions of the process, the development of a full-scale system had some unique challenges. Special applications employing used equipment, agricultural bulk handling bins and machines, and some modifications which pushed the envelope of conventional materials control were required to put together a cost-effective system. Lack of easy disposal of blow-down liquids and modifications of the rented building to meet current codes presented additional special challenges. And, of course, all this was done on a limited R&D budget.

Since the development and production are on-going, a secondary aspect of the paper will be to bring the biosolids community up to date on the progress of the plant and the evaluation of its viability, which will be even further enumerated at the presentation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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