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Innovative FOG and Cake Digestion—The Key to Biosolids Processing Energy and Cost Savings for Pinellas County

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Pinellas County, Florida operates digesters processing sludge and Fat, Oil & Grease (FOG) at its 125 × 106 L/d South Cross Bayou Water Reclamation Facility (SCBWRF). The produced biogas is used in the SCBWRF biosolids dryer/pelletizer. The County is presently trucking dewatered sludge cake from the 34 × 106 L/d William E. Dunn WRF (WEDWRF) to the SCBWRF and processing the cake in the sludge pelletizer. Three major alternatives were compared: (1) singlestage digestion for sludge and FOG; (2) acid-methane digestion of the SCBWRF sludge, FOG, and rehydrated WEDWRF cake; and (3) acid-methane digestion of SCBWRF sludge and FOG. Compared to alternative (1), (2) provided immediate construction cost savings of 4,500,000 and annual savings of 700,000, and it was the only alternative that generated excess methane to allow for on-site electricity generation. Alternative (3) saved 7,500,000 in construction cost over alternative (1) and 500,000 in annual cost, but would eventually run out of dryer capacity. Alternative (2) was selected because of its lowest lifecycle cost, ability to process all of the produced cake through the dryer, and being the most sustainable option.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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