Dewatering Sludge: The Advantages of a Filter Press Over a Vacuum System

Aug 2, 2017
Sludge reduction

Industrial wastewater treatment results in an undesirable, yet unavoidable by-product—sludge. The methods facilities employ to handle and dispose of sludge has a material impact on operating expenses as excess water in solids directly influences haul-off costs. It’s critical to remove as much water from the waste as possible, since more water equals greater disposal fees. This became evident to an Indianapolis-based whipped cream manufacturer we partnered with in 2015 to enhance its wastewater operations. By implementing our dewatering techniques, MacDermid Envio saved this company $237,000 in solid waste disposal costs in just six months.

There are numerous ways to dewater sludge, each with its own benefits. Two of the more popular methods include a vacuum system and a filter press. It’s a common, but unfounded belief, that a vacuum filter supports a more automated process. This is untrue. A vacuum system targets lower solids, and results in more water in the sludge, leading to higher haul-off costs. It’s also a pricier system to operate, with pre-coat costs. The maintenance of vacuum seals and the system’s many moving components add to expenses.

Dewatering by way of filter press targets higher solids and yields less water in the waste for lower haul-off costs. A filter system also has lower operational costs and supports automatic stage fill sections. Filter press dewatering delivers great value to facilities and reduces the volume of materials destined for the landfill, making it a very eco-friendly option.

The MacDermid Envio Press Manager is a process that reacts to the variable characteristics of the precipitate and rapidly fills the press by integrating feed pressure, feed flow rate, and feed volume. The system continuously adjusts feed pressure to maintain the maximum feed volume.  The press fills uniformly and provides optimal dewatering by preventing premature plate surface blinding that causes soft cakes. The MacDermid Envio Press Manager results in the highest filter cake solids possible, produced in the shortest amount of time.

Industrial facilities have many viable options when it comes to dewatering sludge. A centrifuge, belt press, geo-textile, and rotary vacuum are all techniques that can be utilized. The goal of each is to separate sludge into liquids and solids, eliminating as much water from the by-product as possible to reduce disposal costs. The MacDermid Envio Press Manager proves to be the superior technique for lowering expenses by optimizing wastewater sludge reduction and management. To learn more about our dewatering techniques, contact a MacDermid Envio professional today.