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A viable, proven technology for producing marketable biosolids, thermal drying uses heat to reduce the volume and mass of dewatered solids by turning the solids' water content into vapor. It typically increases the solids content from between 18% and 35% to between 90% and 96%. The high temperatures also can help meet the US EPA Part 503 requirements for pathogen kill and vector attraction reduction. The resulting Class A biosolids can have the consistency of fine granules, flakes, small pellets and/or larger fragments.

This paper presents an overview of thermal drying technology as applied to biosolids. Specific topics covered in this paper are: types of dryers, energy usage, sustainability, relative costs, factors that affect product value, advantages and disadvantages of thermal drying in comparison with other solids processing technologies, issues of public acceptance and operational safety considerations.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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