Factors influencing energy generation from municipal sludge digestion

Barber, WPF

Proceedings of the European Biosolids conference, 2010


Renewable energy and carbon reduction targets are generating a great deal of interest in the production of methane-rich biogas from anaerobic digestion. Currently, the water industry produces most biogas using infrastructure not designed for either energy generation or carbon footprint reduction.

This paper highlights the results of a model which predicts potential renewable energy generation from sewage sludge based on a number of variables. Sludge type was the most influential parameter tested, with primary sludge generating over twice the energy of secondary sludge. Pretreatment technology and highly efficient CHP engines were next most beneficial. Additionally, biogas diversion from CHP (to grid for example) should be limited to approximately 20% to avoid requirement of auxiliary fuel.

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