Sludge Recycling Feasibility Study

The project concerned the technology and economic feasibility assessment of sludge treatment in the North of Oman. The study conceived the plan for the waste disposal plant construction with 100 tons daily of sludge utilization capacity.

Industry:

Industrial Deeptech & Sciences

Construction Technology

TRL:

1 → 2

Project duration:

2 months

Challenge

Water consumption in Oman is gradually increasing and expected to rise by 52% percent in 2022 as compared to 2018, therefore sewage and sludge production are increasing proportionately.

Although sludge treatment is a growing problem worldwide, there is no clear and defined consensus regarding the best utilization strategy. 

EnCata was challenged with elucidating the two scenarios:

  • A pilot plant with 4 ton daily sludge uptake 
  • Plant with 100 ton daily processing capacity

Additionally, the dry matter content (which is subject to sewer operations, climate, and effluent type) plays an important role in the process and financial modeling.


Our Role

  • Technologies feasibility analysis
  • Mass / material balance calculation
  • Energy balance calculation
  • Financial and operational modeling
  • Equipment selection
  • Capex estimation

Technologies Used

DCF (discounted cash flow)

DCF (discounted cash flow)

Mass / material balance

Mass / material balance

Logistical modelling

Logistical modelling

Multilevel SWOT analysis

Multilevel SWOT analysis

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Approach & Solution

In this technical and business feasibility study, the EnCata team compared 6 different technologies for sludge treatment:

  1. Co-firing in cement kilns
  2. Biogas production
  3. Landfilling  / composting
  4. Biogas-to-electricity
  5. Gasification 
  6. Incineration / Straight burning

All 6 technologies were scrutinized for top-level equipment costs, material balance, business model operations, CAPEX, and financial outputs. We found that only 2 technologies are feasible/profitable to pursue. Further work in this project was in detailing the biogas digestion and cement-kiln co-firing technologies.

Moisture content in semi-solid sewage sludge highly affects the efficiency of any given thermal treatment process (e.g. gasification, incineration, co-firing) as well as transportation economics. It is highly important for any technical process and economical modeling to consider a wide range of moisture in the sludge.
In addition, the physical-chemical parameters of sludge depend on the technology/process utilized at an industrial or municipal sewage plant.

In sunny climates, solar collectors can be effectively used to drive down the moisture content of the sewage semi-solid sludge. 
An alternative route for drying is the use of excessive heat energy generated through burning or gasifying the sludge as biofuel.


Drone Station case
Drone Station box
Autonomous Drone Station Box

Results

In this project, the technical and business analysis team of EnCata produced a detailed study for the client

6

candidate technologies considered in this feasibility study

2

model plants were chosen for further analysis

405

MMBTU Energy saving can be achieved per year with a 100 ton/day sludge utilization

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