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Innovative thermo-chemical sewage treatment process

Country of Origin: Germany
Reference Number: TODE20200508001
Publication Date: 12 May 2020


A German company offers a unique patented process for the extraction of phosphates from biomass and the production of CO2 neutral energy resources. The process is cost-efficient and leaves no residual materials. Partners are sought for licensing, commercial agreements with technical assistance or technical cooperation agreements.


Sewage sludge contains essential nutrient elements and hence represents generally an important source of secondary feedstock. Notably the phosphate contained in the sewage sludge represents an essential element and an important base material for fertilizer production but also for various non-agricultural applications.

A German company developed a process for the purpose of a simultaneous energetic and material utilisation of biomasses. It renders possible the nearly waste-free recovery of municipal sewage sludge thus contributing to the circular economy. The sludge is directly turned into fertilizer. The process is particularly cost efficient and economically beneficial in its application as power plant substation.

A component current of the power plant‘s flue gas is used for the thermochemical treatment of the dewatered municipal sewage sludge. The emerging process gases are reverted into the power plant’s combustion chamber, after-burned and made available for energy use.

The existing power plant’s flue gas cleaning takes care of the sewage sludge related flue gas component current. The gaseous nitrogen compounds released during the sewage sludge treatment are reducing the urea or ammonia consumption of the NOx-reduction during the flue gas treatment. The thermochemical process allows the operator to embrace and treat significantly larger sewage sludge volumes, as the process gas impact on the combustion is significantly lower than during a conventional sewage sludge co-incineration.

It should be pointed out that already existing sewage sludge commitments of to date co-incineration can be preserved, given that the new process warrants to meet future phosphor recycling obligations in accordance with the Closed Substance Cycle Waste Management Act and the sewage sludge regulation. Phosphor is not wasted in the incineration slag.

The German company offers license agreements or commercial agreements with technical assistance to industrial partners, public sector or engineering firms interested in implementing the technology in their applications. Technical assistance would include know-how transfer and support with installations. Technical co-operation with any partner needing the German company’s expertise for their projects in also an option.


Advantages and Innovations

•	Larger volumes of sludge can be treated than with conventional co-incineration
• 95 % recovery of phosphate
• Highly concentrated best possible bioavailability of phosphate
• Reduction and/or destruction of all relevant hazardous substances
• More energy-efficient than other processes
• Factually zero waste produced
• Municipal sludge is treated in only one step without an extra drying process. And no chemical or thermal second step for the decomposition of ash is necessary.
• Lower investment and operating costs

Stage Of Development

Already on the market

Stage Of Development Comment

Two plants in use (from 15,000 to 30,000 t / a) / Eight plants in planning (3,000 to 135,000 t/a)

Requested partner

Partners are sought for licensing, commercial agreements with technical assistance or technical cooperation agreements.

Potential partners for licensing or commercial agreements with technical assistance: Could be large meat producing industry, waste to energy operator, cool- or cement industry, sewage treatment plants, plant builder, engineering companies or public sector.

Tasks to be performed. Implement technology in their premises or country after know-how transfer from the German company. The German company furthermore offers support regarding first implementation in commercial agreements with technical assistance.

The German company is interested in technical cooperation agreements with any entity carrying out related projects where the German company can contribute their expertise.

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