In the integrated system, the microwave process (MW-AOP) pre-treats the sludge ahead of anaerobic digestion, liquefying the solids and allowing increased biogas production, higher organic loading to the digester, and smaller digestion reactors with shorter retention times.
Essentially, that means lower operating costs for treating and handling solid residual waste. Solid waste could be reduced by up to 80 percent, based on the most recent test results. 80 percent less solid waste means 80 percent less need to transport and dispose of that waste.
However, the integrated system doesn’t stop at merely reducing solid waste. It also allows for the extraction of byproducts like nitrogen and phosphorus, resulting in the mineral struvite. Struvite is a sustainable slow-release fertilizer that can be used as a replacement for chemical fertilizers. This can generate greenhouse gas credits during production and revenue through the sale of the product.