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COMPARISON OF AIR EMISSIONS AND CONTROLS FROM BIOSOLIDS DEWATERING AND DRYING PROCESSES
The Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (SRWTP) recently evaluated several alternatives to address long-term biosolids dewatering, drying, and handling and disposal issues. SRWTP decided to evaluate air quality emissions and impacts including permitting requirements, criteria
pollutants, greenhouse gases, hazardous air pollutants (HAPS), controlled emissions, and air emissions from hauling trucks and secondary sources that are related to biosolids treatment (e.g., boilers or furnaces for heat drying, fugitive emissions from storage tanks, etc.). This paper provides
a full picture of total air quality impacts from biosolids treatment and direct insights into any air quality permitting concerns under current Sacramento Metro Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air quality laws and regulations.
emission totals for each biosolids treatment alternative included air emissions from secondary sources, controlled sources, and truck hauling. Air emissions from the following biosolids treatment alternatives were evaluated:
Plate and frame press dewatering emissions
Indirect drying emissions – including dewatering and secondary emissions
Direct drying emissions –
including dewatering and secondary emissions
Controlled emissions – odor control, impingement plate scrubber, regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO)
Trucking emissions for each alternative
air emissions from the biosolids treatment alternatives and their associated regulatory impacts were insignificant. No problems were predicted in attaining air district permits or significantly impacting the environment. Emissions from dewatering with no drying, were much lower than any of
the drying alternatives (with trucking emissions included). The overall emissions for the combined dewatering, drying, and trucking alternatives presented minimal environmental impacts and should therefore readily receive permits. It should be noted, however, that other non-air quality factors
such as odors, cost effectiveness, reliability, and ease of operation may have a strong influence on which alternative is selected.
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