Project title: Fate of micro-pollutants during thermal pre-treatment of sludge (WP1)
Host Institution: TU Delft
Supervisor: Merle de Kreuk (PhD Promoter)
Objectives: to optimise thermal hydrolytic sludge treatment efficiency by modelling and predicting the changes in (bio)availability of dedicated pollutants in a wide temperature interval.
DC4 will investigate the changes in the sludge structure (EPS formation, disintegration of organics) and changes and fate (liquid solid phase) of the micropollutants (i.e., PFAS, endocrine disruptors, microplastics) during thermal treatment over a wide temperature range (70-300°C) and for different reaction times (10-240 min). Sludges that will be studied are different types of sewage sludge (activated sludge, aerobic granular sludge and digestate). DC4 will model and predict the degradation and fate of these pollutants based on main pre-treatment process parameters (temperature, pH, sludge origin) and will select the best temperature range for sludge treatment in order to minimise negative effects of sludge application in agriculture with respect to the pollutants under scrutiny. DC4 will carry out a full energetic evaluation of the most optimal process conditions selected and carry out pot trials simulating soil application of the obtained sludge/digestate.
Expected Results: An optimised strategy of thermal sewage sludge treatment for the recovery of a micro-pollutant free fraction to be used in agriculture as soil enhancer
Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s): Graduate School of faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences (CEG), TU Delft (NL) – see overall PhD requirements at Tu Delft