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2019 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

Hydrothermal Carbonization (HTC) of Sewage Sludge: GHG Emissions of Various Hydrochar Applications

Authors : Fabian Gievers, Achim Loewen, Michael Nelles

Published in: Progress in Life Cycle Assessment

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

Sewage sludge contains valuable nutrients like phosphorus (P) as well as a whole series of harmful substances. Therefore, conditioning should be designed to remove those pollutants. In Germany sewage sludge is treated mainly at thermal facilities such as sewage sludge mono-incineration plants, cement plants or coal fired power plants. However, ecological impacts of new treatment methods like hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) remain unknown. In the study presented in this paper, the complete life cycles of the carbonization process of sewage sludge (5% dry matter) with associated auxiliary flows (e.g. electricity and naturals gas) and different applications of the produced char were modelled. In order to identify the environmentally most promising and sustainable application, four different scenarios of hydrochar utilization as fuel or fertilizer were analyzed. The resulting global warming potentials (GWP) after ReCiPe midpoint methodology were calculated. Results show that the best scenario in environmental terms has savings of 0.074 kg CO2 eq/kg. The highest emissions were observed for the agricultural use of hydrochar as a substitute for NPK-fertilizer with 0.025 kg CO2 eq/kg, which even outnumbers the emissions of the benchmark process chain of sewage sludge mono-incineration (0.013 kg CO2 eq/kg). Results underline the sustainability of hydrothermal carbonization of sewage sludge as compared to sewage sludge mono-incineration.

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Metadata
Title
Hydrothermal Carbonization (HTC) of Sewage Sludge: GHG Emissions of Various Hydrochar Applications
Authors
Fabian Gievers
Achim Loewen
Michael Nelles
Copyright Year
2019
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-92237-9_7

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