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Title: Municipal wastewater sludge as a sustainable bioresource in the United States

Within the United States and Puerto Rico, publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) process 130.5 Gl/d (34.5 Bgal/d) of wastewater, producing sludge as a waste product. Emerging technologies offer novel waste-to-energy pathways through whole sludge conversion into biofuels. Assessing the feasibility, scalability and tradeoffs of various energy conversion pathways is difficult in the absence of highly spatially resolved estimates of sludge production. In this study, average wastewater solids concentrations and removal rates, and site specific daily average influent flow are used to estimate site specific annual sludge production on a dry weight basis for >15,000 POTWs. Current beneficial uses, regional production hotspots and feedstock aggregation potential are also assessed. Analyses indicate 1) POTWs capture 12.56 Tg/y (13.84 MT/y) of dry solids; 2) 50% are not beneficially utilized, and 3) POTWs can support seven regions that aggregate >910 Mg/d (1000 T/d) of sludge within a travel distance of 100 km.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-125058
Journal ID: ISSN 0301-4797; PII: S0301479717303808
Grant/Contract Number:
AC0576RL01830; DE.AC06.76RLO 1830
Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Environmental Management
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 197; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0301-4797
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
OSTI Identifier:
1457058
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1364387