A Fuel Feasibility Study of Sewage Sludge by Melting of Thermoplastic Polyethylene

  • Lee, Byeong-Kyu (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Ulsan) ;
  • Jeong, Wang-Seok (Taewha Environment Co. Ltd)
  • Published : 2010.01.31


This pilot study evaluated fueling feasibility of sewage sludge, which contains a large amount of water content, by applying melting of thermoplastic polyethylene (PE). This study has identified a simultaneous achievement of drying and heating value improvement of the sewage sludge. The sewage sludge collected from a sewage sludge treatment plant during a winter period had a water content of 83.7 wt%, a combustible volatile content of 12.5 wt%, and an ash content of 3.8 wt%. The higher heating value (HHV) of the dried sewage sludge, before impregnation or coating of PE, was 4,600 kcal/kg. The collected sewage sludge was immersed into the melted PE solution, which had a HHV of 11,070 kcal/kg, and kept immersing with increasing reaction time. As the reaction (immersing or coating or impregnation) time increased, the water content of the sludge decreased. However, the HHV of the sludge increased with increasing the reaction time. The HHVs of the sewage sludge immersed or dipped into the melted PE solution for 15 min ranged from 6,780 to 8,170 kcal/kg with water content less than 7 wt%. This result indicates the melted PE solution can be utilized as an improvement technology for dryness and heating value of the sewage sludge with high water content. The sewage sludge impregnated or coated with melted PE can be utilized as potential fuel or energy resources.


Sewage sludge;Melted PE;Drying;Heating value;Water content;Fuel


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