As of 2003, spreading municipal sewage sludge on agriculturally used land has been banned. The reason: pollutants that might accumulate in the soil and transfer to the crops grown have become an uncalculated risk. The same ban is also gaining ground in the rest of Europe. Increases in environmental restrictions and heightened environmental consciousness among the general public are making it necessary to provide alternative disposal options for municipal sewage sludge. The most sustainable and therefore increasingly attractive option is thermal recycling, meaning dewatering and incinerating of the sewage sludge, separately or together with other waste. Sludge is particularly attractive because of its fuel value: fully dried sludge (90% dry solids content) has a similar fuel value to brown coal (approx. 11,000 KJ/kg) and is highly suitable for use as a secondary or substitute fuel in coal-fired power stations, waste incineration plants or as a supplementary fuel in cement or brick factories. The company Andritz 3SYS AG, headquartered in Switzerland, was one of the first to react to increasing demands regarding the recycling of sludge and to respond to these demands with innovative technologies for sludge dewatering. Once dried and treated, sludge is a valuable product that can be handled and recycled easily and without risk. Andritz 3SYS AG is the market leader in the field of sludge treatment and dewatering equipment.
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