Tankered Waste: Waste Treatment Processes

Our facilities and processes at our waste water treatment works at Howdon are industry leading in their sustainability and eco-friendly approach.

Backed up by a network of satellite centres designed to reduce the transportation costs, the treatment centres at Bran Sands and Howdon generate their own energy by converting the sludge from waste water into energy rich biogas. The solid waste that is left over after treatment is used on agricultural land as fertiliser, which is the Best Practicable Environmental Option and is supported by the UK government.

Annually treating 40,000 tons of tankered waste, the treatment centres use a combination or thermal hydrolysis and anaerobic digestion. Thermal Hydrolysis is a process in which sludge is pressure cooked, and then rapidly decompressed. This process sterilises the sludge and also improves biodegradability, which means that the feed rates of the digesters can be doubled, leading to maximised energy production.

Anaerobic digestion is a process in which microorganisms break down the sludge in a sealed container without any oxygen present. The microorganisms convert the natural material into various gases, which when combined produce energy rich biogas.

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