Dec 02, 2014

Blue Plains Plant Installs Thermal Hydrolysis Process Technology

The system is the first of its kind in the U.S. & the largest Cambi system in the world

DC Water thermal hydrolysis process Cambi Blue Plains

DC Water’s Cambi thermal hydrolysis process (THP)—designed and built by CDM Smith and PC Construction Co. in a joint venture (PC/CDM Smith joint venture)—is now operating at the Blue Plains advanced wastewater treatment plant (AWTP). The system is the first of its kind in the U.S. and the largest Cambi system in the world.

Cambi is an environmental technology provider based in Asker, Norway. CDM Smith has previous experience implementing THP in Europe, where several facilities are currently using this technology to process hydrolyzed sludge. The DC Water facility, which began operations in October, provides significant environmental benefits—as a source of renewable energy, and a means of reducing carbon emissions over the previous systems.

The THP system is a key component of the updated biosolids main process train at the Blue Plains AWTP, designed and built by the PC/CDM Smith joint venture, which includes new facilities for biosolids blending and screening, pre-dewatering and four 3.8-million-gal anaerobic digesters. The project upgraded the facility’s previous system, which produced Class B biosolids, to produce Class A biosolids. As a result, the facility will be able to generate power from biogas while significantly reducing the volume of biosolids hauled away.

In addition to reducing waste, generating energy and improving air quality, the project is projected to save residents of the District of Columbia and surrounding metro areas an estimated $20 million annually—$10 million in power savings and $10 million in reduced sludge disposal costs.