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Chemosphere. 2013 Jan;90(4):1508-13. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2012.07.062. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Urban energy mining from sewage sludge.

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  • 1Department of Civil Engineering, Chonbuk National University, 567 Baekje-daero, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, 561-756, South Korea.


This work showed that sewage sludge could be a strong candidate for biodiesel production. High lipid content (18-20%) with C(16-18)-carbon range was experimentally identified and measured. These lipids from sewage sludge were converted into biodiesel via the transesterification reaction with MgO-CaO/Al(2)O(3) derived from magnesium slag, and biodiesel conversion was ~98%. The experimental work enabled explaining that temperature is the main driving force for the transesterification reaction, which can be enhanced in the presence of CO(2). This also enables combination of esterification of free fatty acids and transesterification of triglycerides into a single process within 1 min in the temperature range of 350-500°C. Sewage sludge residue after extracting lipids was also a good feedstock for recovering energy via thermo-chemical processes. The impact of CO(2) co-feed on the pyrolysis/gasification process of SS residue was also investigated in this work. The CO(2) injected into the thermo-chemical process remarkably increased the generation of CO by a factor of 2. Moreover, the introduction of CO(2) into the pyrolysis/gasification process enabled reducing condensable hydrocarbons (tar) by expediting cracking; thus, utilizing CO(2) as chemical feedstock for the gasification process not only leads to higher thermal efficiency but also has environmental benefits.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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