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Sludge Management: Opportunities in growing volumes, disposal restrictions and energy recovery

  • December 2013
  • Global Water Intelligence
Report ID: 1931209


Table of Contents


If all of the wastewater from the world’s urban population was collected and treated, in one year enough dry sludge could be generated used to cover an area equivalent to Singapore in a layer 10cm thick. And by 2017, 83 million tonnes of dry sewage sludge would be generated by 2017.

It is clear that effective sludge management has never been so important – the challenges of increased production volumes, social responsibility, stricter disposal regulations and less landfill space are creating opportunities to maximise the value of sludge for water treatment suppliers and wastewater producers alike.

With a booming global population, the volume of municipal sludge being produced is on the increase, and it simply has to be treated. The growing importance of cost effective sludge management is changing the size and shape of the market – as the volumes being produced accumulate, the evolving perspective is that sludge can be a renewable resource with a potential value stream, and that there are cost reduction opportunities from efficient sludge management. This report showcases the strategies that will allow you to benefit from a sustainable sludge management process.

On top of the usual waste disposal legislation associated with environmental protection, governments are also implementing stricter disposal restrictions to promote recycling of waste streams and discourage landfilling in regions where space is becoming scarce. With urban growth set to continue globally, these disposal restrictions and regulations are likely to become even more widespread – so now is the time for municipalities to maximise the value of their sludge streams and decrease their disposal costs, and for water technology suppliers to be aware of the global trends and regional challenges that will increase the demand for their services. We look at the drivers and trends in the sludge management market and the opportunities for your particular business.

The report focuses heavily on regions and their individual market characteristics. Please view our 'regions' section for detailing information on the regions covered.

Market Forecast Categories

We will forecast by:
1. Region (USA, European Union, Middle East, China, Brazil, Rest of World)
2. Equipment type (Thickening and Dewatering; Pumps; Anaerobic digestion; Stabilisation; Drying, Thermal processes; Balance of Plant)
3. Municipal/Industrial (Food and Beverage, Pulp and Paper)

Opportunities and Technologies

Pretreatment – reliable methods that ensure the later advanced treatment process is not disrupted by contaminants in the sludge. This improves efficiency resulting in reduced volumes and operating costs.
Energy recovery – opportunities in reducing operating costs through energy efficiency; recovering energy from sewage sludge by capturing and using biogas produced during anaerobic digestion - with the prospect of benefi tting from renewable energy incentives in some countries; and producing alternative fuels - such as syngas, bio-oil and biochar - to reduce dependence on fossil fuels or to be sold for profi t.
Sludge reuse – sludge is no longer simply viewed as a waste but as a saleable product with a potential revenue stream.
Opportunities include:
- Fertiliser and other land applications
- Nutrient recovery – phosphorous and nitrogen
- Material recovery – sludge can be used as a raw material in the manufacture of bricks and cement, reducing disposal costs.

In this report, we show you the sludge management options and technologies that will allow sludge streams be maximised. The opportunities are there to save money by disposing of smaller amounts of waste and by capitalising on energy recovery.

Technologies covered:
- Thickening
- Stabilisation
- Dewatering
- Drying
- Thermal Processes

Who should read this report?

This report is an essential guide for any organisation that produces or treats a wastewater stream.
Wastewater treatment suppliers – this report shows the current and future shape of the market, so they can pinpoint the opportunities for their technologies and offer their clients the most efficient sludge management systems.
Municipal water /utilities –This report is a guide to treating your municipal sludge streams more cost effectively – it gives advice on the new approaches and technologies to help you tailor a sludge management strategy that is right for your business.
Investors – This report is a guide to current and emerging opportunities in sludge management

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