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Overview of Municipal Sludge Fluid Bed Incineration in North America — From Green to Greener – The Lakeview, the Duffin Creek and the Southerly Experiences

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Incineration has been used as a disposal method for wastewater biosolids treatment for over eighty years. The first multiple hearth furnace for biosolids incineration was built in 1935 in Dearborn, MI. From that time through the late sixties, the multiple hearth furnace was the thermal technique of choice for biosolids disposal.

In the seventies, the fluid bed furnace became the preferred thermal technique for biosolids disposal, primarily due to tighter emission regulation and to increasing cost of auxiliary fuel. The first municipal hot windbox fluid bed equipped with refractory arch distributor was installed in the USA at the Lynnwood, WA wastewater treatment plant in 1962. There have been over 140 fluid bed incinerators installed since then in North America.

Until a last couple of years, thermal processing was considered in North America as a good biosolids disposal tool only. Today with the sharp increase in energy cost and the greenhouse gas production that concept is no longer acceptable. There is an important shift in approach by industry as well as public education. Thermal processing as environmental sound disposal tool only is no longer enough. More and more Utilities and Agencies are reevaluating their biosolids management practices to ensure that they are providing sustainable management.

Today, a modern thermal processing system is not only designed to achieve strict emission limits but also to be energy efficient. More and more plants are built with maximum heat recovery including air preheating and cogeneration with steam and electricity productions.

This paper will address the overview of fluid bed incineration in North America and its evolution over the last decades. Case studies of the last three newest and largest plants in America are presented, including the Lakeview plant, the Duffin Creek Plant, both in Ontario, Canada and the Southerly Plant in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Keywords: Cogeneration; Fluid Bed Incineration; Sludge Disposal; Sustainability

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864711802863319

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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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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