Wastewater and sludge processing

The oily sludge treated by ATM consists of mixtures that contain oil, water and sediment in various proportions. We separate these three fractions with the aid of decanter technology. A decanter is a type of rotating drum that, through means of centrifuging, separates the various substances from each other. The heavy sediment settles to the bottom, any oil substances rise to the top, and the wastewater is located in between these two layers.

Next Treatment Step

We then route these three streams from the decanter to the next treatment step. The sediment is treated in another plant on ATM’s site, the pyrolysis plant. The released oil is used as fuel for the thermal remediation plant. The remaining wastewater is routed to the wastewater purification plant: via the flocculation and flotation unit (FFU) to the biological wastewater purification.

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Flocculation and Flotation Unit (FFU)

The contaminated wastewater ends up in a large settlement basin in the FFU. Coagulants and flocculants are added to the water that cause elements not dissolved in the water to flocculate. For example, small oil elements and floating solid particles, such as heavy metals. Next, air bubbles are injected into the water to which the flocs attach themselves and float to the surface (flotation), after which they can be skimmed off. After this pre-purification step, the wastewater still contains dissolved organic components. These must be treated biologically.

Biologic Wastewater Purification

ATM has reactors for this purpose that contain a large quantity of biologically active sludge. This sludge comprises bacteria that, due to the addition of pure oxygen, can absorb the waste materials and convert them into water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

The clean water is discharged from the reactor with the aid of membrane filtering, while the bacteria remain behind. Following analysis, the purified water can be discharged into the regular sewer system.

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