Wastewater treatment systems handle large flows of water continuously. The treatment process essentially consists of separating the solids from the water, then treating both the water and the solids to allow the return of the water to the environment while cleanly disposing of the solids.
Hydrothermal processing deals with the solids or "sludge" component of the process. In today's systems, the wastewater utility may first reduce the amount of sludge with anaerobic digestion, then dispose of the remainder by spreading it on rural land or hauling it to a landfill. With hydrothermal processing, the sludge can be eliminated right at the treatment plant by converting it into biocrude oil and natural gas. Hydrothermal processing ideally treats the pre-digester solids, eliminating both the anaerobic digester and the subsequent transport of remainder sludge, though HTP can also eliminate the post-digester biosolids. In these ways, HTP can fundamentally and favorably change wastewater processing. See a diagram of a future wastewater treatment plant using Hydrothermal Processing.
graphic illustration of
alternative applications of Genifuel's Hydrothermal
Processing at a
Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)