Handex Insights

Is a Centrifuge the Right Choice for My Sludge Dewatering Needs?

Written by Jim Caccese | September 22, 2016

Is a Centrifuge the Right Choice for My Sludge Dewatering Needs?

Sludge dewatering separates sludge into liquid and solid components for waste minimization. There are various technologies for sludge dewatering, including plate & frame and belt filter presses, centrifuging, and geomembranes. In addition to these, there are other options available.

It is important to note that dewatering is not intended to treat the sludge or liquid, it only separates the solid and liquid components so that it is easier and more cost-effective to handle the separate phases for final disposal. Once the sludge has been dewatered, both the solid and liquid components may contain contaminants that need to be treated separately.

Sludge dewatering is typically focused on reducing the weight and volume of the sludge so that disposal, including transportation, costs are kept to a minimum. Water removal is the primary means of volume reduction. Before sludge waste can be treated or disposed of in the most economical manner, dewatering is necessary.

What is a Centrifuge?

A centrifuge relies on centrifugal force - the same that a spinning top uses to stay upright - to separate materials by their densities. Centrifuges are used for many applications from the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals to separating cream from milk along with many other industrial uses including sludge dewatering. When using a centrifuge for separation, the materials with greater densities will be displaced further away from the axis than materials with lesser densities. In the case of whole milk, the cream will end of up “spinning” out of the milk, hence, creating a separation of material with different densities. There are many types of centrifuges in use for a multitude of applications.

Considerations in Using a Centrifuge for Sludge Dewatering

Particle size, density, material viscosity and force needed (for separation as a function of rotation speed) are some of the factors to be considered when deciding if centrifuging is the optimal choice for your sludge dewatering needs and, if so, what kind of centrifuge. In many instances, the performance of a centrifuge is enhanced using polymers to help with the separation.

It is important to consider the overall objective, disposal options, and cost of dewatering in deciding which the best choice for your specific needs is.

At Handex we provide our clients support in making these decisions utilizing our highly experienced dewatering professionals and bench scale treatability capabilities in evaluating a variety of technologies to choose the optimal solution.

About Handex

Handex is a provider of Pumping, Dredging, Sludge Dewatering and Treatment of industrial and process wastes. Our staff includes experienced Project Managers, Engineers, Operators, Technicians, Fabricators, Scientists, Mechanics, and Health and Safety Professionals. Our objective is to meet and exceed client expectations while providing quality, safe and cost-effective services. In some cases, our clients find that the value of the materials returned to the plant pays partially for the cost of the sludge dewatering service.

Written by Jim Caccese
Jim Caccese is a senior client relationship manager for Handex. He is committed to providing the highest level of safe and quality service to our clients. Jim has extensive experience in the environmental industry including consulting, operations, construction, management, research/development and sales.

Topics: Dewatering