Advanced technology for pretreatment of municipal wastewater sludge for better biogas generation and decrease of sludge accumulation

Swiss SME active in environmental technologies offers a solution for sludge pretreatment in municipal wastewater plants. The solution (technology and machinery) is able to pre-treat sludge before the digester and by this significantly increase biogas generation (up to 50%) and decrease dry sludge disposal at the end of the process (up to 20%). The dry sludge could be used as fertilizer. The company searches for license, joint venture, commercial or technological cooperation agreements.
Sewage is treated in wastewater treatment plants to recover usable water streams. The semisolid or solid by-product formed during the processing of sewage is known as sludge. Treatment of sludge is chiefly designed for reducing the sludge volume and converting the organic materials in the sludge into stable substances, to enable effective disposal, recover a usable product, or generate biogas. The major processes to achieve these goals are sludge digestion, in which organic matter is biologically decomposed under the action of bacteria, and sludge dewatering, in which water is removed from the sludge. The company solution solving problems associated with sludge digestion (to biogas) and sludge dewatering. One of the challenges in treating sludge is that a surprisingly large amount of water is trapped inside the sludge. The water is in fact locked inside the sludge, making sludge dewatering by the conventional mechanical methods mentioned above difficult to achieve. Another difficulty is encountered during sludge digestion: the interior of the sludge is not readily accessible to the action of bacteria, therefore biogas generation is not efficient enough. The Swiss company offers a solution called wastewater oxidation unit (WWO) that is a fully automatic, in-situ, partial chemical oxidation process for primary and secondary municipal sludge. It is used to increase the levels of soluble chemical oxygen demand (sCOD) before anaerobic digestion (AD) by up to 100%, through the partial oxidation of sludge. Sludge from clarifiers is pumped to the WWO, where it is sprayed with an active solution consisting of two stable materials. The materials react to generate super oxide radicals, which partially oxidize the sludge, increasing the sCOD concentration. The average reaction time is four hours, under normal temperature and pressure, during which the sludge is continuously mixed by mechanical agitators. At the end of the process, the oxidized sludge is pumped to the digester, where the increased sCOD concentration increases biogas yields by up to 50% and reduces sludge disposal volumes by up to 20%. Moreover, the sludge at the end of the process could be used as fertilizer (sludge class A). This unique approach not only improves existing processes, increases biogas generation and saves operational expenditures (OPEX) to wastewater plant operators but also decreases the carbon footprint of the wastewater plant. The technology can be applied in any wastewater facility (centralized and non-centralized plants), however, the technology especially efficient in wastewater plants with biogas generation units. The company searches for partners/representatives active in wastewater sector, wastewater plants operators and designers (engineering offices), environmental engineering offices, recycling companies, waste management companies and companies in the field of biogas generation from waste and wastewater for license, joint venture, commercial or technological cooperation agreement.
Type (e.g. company, R&D institution…), field of industry and Role of Partner Sought: 
The specific area of activity of the partner: The Swiss company is looking for companies active in wastewater sector, wastewater plants operators and designers (engineering offices), environmental engineering offices, recycling companies, waste management companies and companies in the field of biogas generation from waste and wastewater. The tasks to be performed by the partner sought: The Swiss company provides the technology (patents, design of machines and know-how) and machine manufacturing (if it is required) to the partner, who is responsible for marketing, sales and project execution, local permitting and administration. The partner is provided with trainings and support from the Swiss engineers if required. The key component of the technology stays as the property of the Swiss company. The partnership can take many forms notably a license or join venture or commercial agreement with technical assistance. Further collaboration such as technical cooperation agreements could also be envisaged later. - License and joint venture agreements: the Swiss company is a knowledge company and is not executing the projects. Therefore they are looking for companies that have an execution ability and manpower. License and joint venture agreements allow the Swiss company to operate in different countries on high capacity projects without developing their own capacity for project execution in each country. For a long term any of their licensees will still need the supervision and support of the Swiss company in the design of the project. - Commercial agreement with technical assistance: as a knowledge company that sees in their competitors also a potential customer a commercial agreement with technical support allows the Swiss company to develop new units based on their oxidation processes to existing facilities. This kind of cooperation can open them a new market (“retrofit”). It will allow them to work abroad based on the existing facilities of the partners. - Technological cooperation agreement: this will allow the Swiss company to develop and upgrade their technologies based on the added value knowledge of the sought partner and will save them time and money during market penetration. At the end of the process and with a generation of joint know-how they can sign a joint venture agreement and implement their processes in the global market.
Stage of Development: 
Available for demonstration
IPR Status: 
Patents granted
Comments Regarding IPR Status: 
The company has several IPs that already granted in the USA, EU and China
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