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Traditional mechanical sludge thickening technologies, such as gravity belt thickener (GBT) or rotary drum thickener (RDT) technologies, were compared versus an innovative use of vacuum membranes for waste activated sludge (WAS) thickening at the Oxford Pollution Control Plant (treatment capacity of 19,000 m3/d located in the City of London). The side-by-side detailed comparison reviewed the advantages/disadvantages of thickening blended primary and WAS solids in a new building containing RDT equipment versus retrofitting existing sludge holding tankage to hold membranes to batch thicken WAS to 4.5% and thickening the primary solids separately within the primary clarifiers. The key site-specific advantages the membrane filtration system offered included: 1) reduced building needs to house membrane system, 2) reduced O&M needs by automating the membrane thickening operation, and 3) reduced capital and life-cycle costs. The WAS membrane thickening system was selected for implementation and is expected to be functional by early 2008.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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