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An Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Sewage Sludge Valorization Unit

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - KATEDRAL (An Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Sewage Sludge Valorization Unit)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2018-06-30

TreaTech, a young clean-tech Swiss company, has developed an innovative technology that will revolutionise the waste management of sewage sludge by turning it into valuable by-products and energy such as biogas, clean water and natural fertilizers that would otherwise be lost during disposal process.
The implementation of new restrictive EU directives towards sewage sludge management is creating a general trend in the European sewage sludge market towards incineration solutions. However, incineration is the most expensive and restrictive way of disposal, causing serious environmental impacts due to gas emissions into the air and residual polluting ashes that are usually disposed of landfilling. Besides the harmful effects for the environment, the sewage sludge management constitutes high costs for a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), one third of the total capital expenditures (CAPEX) and up to 50% of the operational costs (OPEX). We will offer our solution KATEDRAL to WWTPs whose disposal method is based on incineration, providing them with a cost-efficient, ecological and reliable disposal solution.
The Feasibility Study performed has focused on 3 main areas. From a technical point of view, we have assessed the performance of the salt separator with some diluted sewage sludge solutions, and analyzed process parameters. In addition, we have designed a demonstrator unit with a capacity of 200kg/h of digested sludge and elaborated a risk analysis plan for the development of the project. On the commercial side we performed an analysis of our target market, assessed potential partnerships to consolidate our marketing strategy and we conducted a Freedom to Operate Analysis to ensure there are not barriers for us to operate. Finally, on the economic side, we performed financial forecasts a 5 year´s scenario beyond the project.
The users of our technology (municipal WWTPs) will reduce their sludge treatment costs (OPEX) by 40% annually and their CAPEX by more than 20%. Furthermore, the energy obtained will plenty cover the energy requirements of the unit leading to an increase in profit thanks to savings. From an environmental perspective, our technology produces 17 times less CO2 emissions than incineration solutions and as we continuously process the newly produced sludge, it only requires a very limited storage volume, reducing unpleasant odors.
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