Biogas Production from Sewage and Sludge at WWTP

In the UAE, producing biogas from sludge generated by wastewater treatment plants is not yet a common practice. In 2016-2017, the wastewater treatment plant in Ajman wanted to research the feasibility of doing this with the sludge from domestic and industrial sewage. We were selected to perform this feasibility study, consisting of a solution comparison and a preliminary design. Our team also assisted in evaluating and developing a business case in which the investment costs of the biogas production facility were covered by the use of the produced biogas.

Sludge-to-energy flagship project

Based on these studies, the Ajman Sewerage Company (ASPCL) decided to launch a sludge-to-energy flagship project. We assisted ASPCL throughout the process of finding a contractor to build the facility. This included helping with the expression of interest, preparing the tender and contract documents, overseeing the tender process and, finally, evaluating submissions and selecting preferred contractors. The project was ultimately awarded to Six Construct, the Middle Eastern branch of the Belgium construction company BESIX.

Exceptionally high H2S concentration

When biogas production commenced at the facility in 2022, an exceptionally high H2S concentration was found in the biogas. As this concentration was higher than that provided for in the design, it had the potential to impact on the lifespan of materials used during the facility’s construction. Given our expertise in (anaerobic) wastewater treatment systems, we were asked to perform an additional study. A root-cause analysis – including mass balancing and a sampling campaign throughout the entire wastewater treatment plant – was performed to identify the cause of the high concentration and advise on potential solutions.

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