In an environment characterised by stagnating or decreasing subsidies and accompanied by ever-increasing substrate costs, optimised substrate yield can often be the difference between a biogas facility making a profit or loss. Sewage treatment plants can effectively counteract increasing pressure with regard to energy and cost efficiency by increasing their biogas yield and reducing the volume of sludge on the disposal side.
With ultrasonic systems, developed to cater for the specific characteristics of biomass, Weber Entec offers solutions whose performance exceeds that of other disintegration processes in terms of operational reliability, as well as cost and energy efficiency.
During disintegration, biogenic substrates are broken down by the cavitation effect generated by ultrasound. Alongside increased surface area, the flake structure of the sludge is also broken down, while enzyme activity is increased based on the intensity of energy applied. This process can be controlled and therefore matched to specific requirements, right through to the lysis of microorganisms contained in the sludge and the release of cell components.
To implement this process, Weber Entec GmbH & Co. KG, a subsidiary of Weber Ultrasonics GmbH – a leading global manufacturer of ultrasonic components – developed appropriate ultrasonic systems. By taking into account the specific properties of biomass, these systems offer great potential for increasing the efficiency of biogas and sewage treatment plants.
For example, they allow the degree of decomposition to be increased during fermentation of energy crops, slurry and manure at biogas processing facilities, which significantly improves the specific gas yield or allows the same energy yield to be achieved with reduced substrate volumes. At the same time, the reduced viscosity means that less energy is required and the service life of pumps and agitators is increased.
Sewage treatment plants also enjoy operating cost savings thanks to a reduction in the volume of sludge to be disposed of, as well as increased gas production and improved dewatering. The targeted treatment of activated sludge for reducing filamentous bacteria also makes it possible to eliminate foaming issues during activation and digestion.
BioPush biogas catalyzer – the solution for highly dehydrated sludge
The modular BioPush biogas catalyzer was developed for processing highly dehydrated sludge, as well as inhomogeneous substrates with high levels of dry residue. Conventional systems are often limited by the fact that only substrates located in the direct vicinity of the ultrasound source can be treated. Systems of this nature therefore require an extremely high amount of energy.
In contrast to this, the compact BioPush generates a homogeneous cavitation field throughout the entire reactor thanks to its high-performance planar transducer. This ensures that even problematic substrates, such as heavily dehydrated mixed sludge from municipal sewage treatment plants or agricultural fermentation plants, can be treated at full power - an approach that leads to a demonstrable increase in gas yield of up to 25%. The special design of the BioPush also guarantees a smooth flow of materials, free of blockages and pigtailing, which in turn provides a long service life with absolutely no need for maintenance.
SmartDMS – optimised use of energy
The SmartDMS (disintegration module system) is an independent, self-regulating plug&play solution for the treatment of biomass with a typical solid component of between 5% and a maximum of 15%. This system is easy to integrate into any biogas facility or sewage treatment plant. Neither the installation nor deactivation of the disintegration system for maintenance work interfere with the operation at biomass or sewage-treatment plants, which can continue to run throughout. In addition to this, significantly less energy is required in comparison with conventional disintegration systems, since the disintegration process is more effective.
Source: Weber Ultrasonics GmbH