Technology Set to Create Largest Ultrasonic Sludge Digestion Plant in World

June 16, 2004
Using a new technology, New Zealand's water and wastewater utility is poised to create the world’s largest ultrasonic plant for treating sewage sludge

Following successful trials, New Zealand's water and wastewater utility, Watercare Services, is to install seventy-eight sonix™ ultrasound horns at its flagship Mangere Water Reclamation Plant, serving a population of 800,000 near Auckland.

This will create the world’s largest ultrasonic plant for treating sewage sludge.

sonix™, which has won industry awards for innovation, uses intense ultrasound waves to cause cell lysis prior to anaerobic digestion, optimising digester performance.

And with environmental regeneration and sustainability a key driver behind Watercare Services’ investment at Mangere, sonix™ was selected not only for its operational benefits but its ‘green’ credentials too.

By improving the digestion process using sonix™, Watercare Services will be able to realize greater quantities of biogas, making better use of co-generation facilities on site. Treatment with sonix™ also minimises chemical usage for activities such as sludge dewatering, lime stabilisation and foam control.

Dr. Piers Clark, managing director of Sonico, the joint-venture which has brought sonix™ to the market, believes this installation marks an exciting new chapter in the technology’s development.

"Using ultrasound to treat sludge is a very novel concept. We have shown that sonix™ works, but never before at this scale. The Mangere plant gives us a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate just what an effective solution ultrasound is for large wastewater utilities worldwide."

"It is gratifying to see sonix™ adopted by a forward-thinking organisation like Watercare Services that will really extract the full benefits from our technology: immediate improvements to sludge digestion and payback through energy savings and reduced biosolids — everything sonix™ was designed for," he said.

Source: Sonico Limited

Image courtesy Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ).
All images courtesy of Ecosorb.