Comparing Mechanical Dewatering Technologies

As we see from the above descriptions there are a variety of technologies from which to select from for sludge dewatering operations. Each has its own set of advantages, disadvantages, and limitations in operating ranges. Selection greatly depends on the volumes and nature of the sludge. Table 3 provides a relative comparison between the principle mechanical dewatering techniques.

Table 3. Comparison of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Mechanical Thickening Technologies.

Technology or Method

Advantages

Disadvantages

Gravity

Simple

Potential for obnoxious and harmful odors

Low operating and maintenance costs

Thickened sludge concentration limited for WAS

Low operator attention and moderate training requirements

High space requirements for WAS

Minimal power consumption

Dissolved Air Flotation

Effective for WAS

Relatively high power consumption

Can work without conditioning chemicals

Thickening solids concentration limited

Relatively simple equipment components

Potential for obnoxious and harmful odors

High space requirements

Centrifugation

Low space requirements

Best suited for continuous operations

Effective for WAS

Sophisticated maintenance requirements

Minimum housekeeping and odor problems

Relatively high power consumption

Highly thickened concentrations available

Relatively high capital cost

Rotating Drum Filter

Low space requirements

Can be polymer dependent

Technology or Method

Advantages

Disadvantages

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