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New Advetec high temperature aerobic digester turns sewage sludge into soil improver and water

Posted: Monday 29th February 2016

Fast reductions help waste and water companies achieve zero waste to landfill.

Advetec, a leading UK specialist in the use of advanced environmental technologies for the treatment of solid and liquid organic waste, has launched a new, enhanced version of its high temperature aerobic digestion process to reduce organic content in sewage sludge, difficult to handle mixed solid waste and trommel fines from municipal black bag collections by as much as 70%. By reducing the waste volume and extracting most of the water, the machines will significantly reduce waste disposal and transportation costs and provide opportunities for reuse.

The Rapid Thermal Organic Reduction system, or ‘RapTOR’, a development of the company’s successful Bio-Thermic Digester (BTD), has been reengineered to increase throughput and extend the range of difficult waste streams that can be processed. These include sewage sludge, food waste, mixed solid waste (MSW) and Organic Fines, digesting organic content during a 72-hour cycle.

At its heart is a cocktail of extremophile bacteria and specially developed nutrients which thrive at high temperatures, rapidly digesting any organic material and extracting clean water to leave a waste product that can be used as RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) or as a soil improver, depending on the input waste stream.

Enhancements to the RapTOR include a new heat and moisture recovery system, to improve biological efficiency and reduce running costs. This takes heat generated by the exothermic process and re-used to sustain the high temperature environment for the bacteria. Consequently, operating costs drop after the initial start-up procedures. Water from steam is then condensed out and filtered for use in irrigation, cleaning or further processing. Moisture extraction and odour control are now built in to the systems as standard on all machines over 1 cubic meter per day waste volumes.

Other upgrades include an improved drive train to ensure a fully ruggedized solution with a ten-year design life, greater flexibility for waste in-feed options, plus uprated control software to give more refined process control and monitoring. Advanced remote telemetry means Advetec can now offer a complete managed service for customers, operating a machine 24/7 anywhere in the world, from its facility in the UK.

Craig Shaw, CEO for Advetec says: “The RapTOR is available in a range of size configurations to suit different waste volumes and is completely scalable. Its ability to deal effortlessly with co-mingled waste and difficult to handle organics fills a significant gap in the market where composting and Anaerobic Digestion don’t have an answer.”

“In the United States we already have extensive interest from waste management companies and large food courts, especially in States mandating no organic waste to landfill. We have a new machine going to Italy and our technology is being trialled by leading European waste companies. Developments in the control software and remote monitoring to continuously optimise the operating environment and throughput of the system is an increasingly important feature and we are already operating machines in the Middle East and the US directly from our UK facility.”

The process is particularly suited to co-mingled waste where it is not possible to separate out organic residues, an increasing issue for waste management companies facing rising landfill penalties and pressure for a total ban on organics going to landfill. Waste volumes with the next generation RapTOR has been increased and sustainable reductions between 45% up to 95% have been achieved depending on the waste stream.

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