Project Synopsis

Plan and manage pilot-plant filtering and drying tests of a biological sludge feed stream leading to the design of a commercial-scale sludge pretreatment system.

Project Summary


The client owns and operates a thermal waste treatment system for the processing of hazardous and low-level radioactive wastes.  Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by the client to develop a plan for pilot-plant filtering and drying tests for a biological sludge feed stream for the purpose of designing a commercial-scale pretreatment system for the sludge.  In addition, PROCESS was requested by the client to perform on-site management of the pilot tests.

The filtering/drying test plan was developed for the purpose of designing the tests such that the requisite information required for commercial-scale system design could be determined.  The final test plan included the following information:

  • Test objectives, including the information to be determined via the pilot-plant testing
  • The basic pilot-scale equipment to be utilized for the tests
  • Type and number of filtering and drying tests to be performed
  • Detailed test procedures and conditions.

After execution of the pilot-plant tests, PROCESS issued a report to the client that summarized the testing findings, results, and conclusions.  The report also included recommendations relative to the design of a commercial-scale filtering/drying system, including:

  • Type of filter and dryer to employ in the commercial-scale process.
  • Filter operating conditions including media pore size, maximum cake thickness, expected filtering times, amounts and types of co-feed materials required to aid filtration, and filtration percent moisture endpoint.
  • Dryer operating conditions including temperature and pressure, expected drying times, and drying percent moisture endpoint.
  • Ancillary solids and gas handling equipment required for the commercial-scale system.

As part of the project scope, PROCESS also developed a process flow diagram depicting commercial-scale operation based on the test results, including process and utilities flow rates, temperatures, and pressures.  The findings from this project were utilized in the selection of process equipment for this application.

Industry Type

  • Hazardous and Radioactive Waste Treatment

Utilized Skills

  • Pilot plant test plan development
  • Pilot plant operations management
  • Pilot plant to commercial size scale up