Thermal hydrolysis company Cambi has signed a large contract with consulting engineering firm Wood to supply energy company Sasol with two full-scale thermal hydrolysis process (THP) systems for treating industrial biological sludge at Sasol’s Secunda operations, in Mpumalanga.
Sasol and Cambi began a commercial trial at Secunda last year using a small-scale THP unit.
Extensive laboratory tests and integration checks demonstrated the feasibility of refunneling industrial biological sludge into Sasol’s coal-to-liquids (CTL) gasification process and identified the optimal process parameters for full-scale application.
“We are excited about this project, as it will enable us to improve our waste management by moving up the waste hierarchy, while improving ambient air quality.
“This will enable Sasol to move away from incineration and, at the same time, to derive syngas from biosludge. We recognise the link between our activities and the need to act responsibly by holistically managing the impacts of our operations through world-class innovation,” Sasol energy operations and technology executive VP Simon Baloyi said on November 21.
This project will reroute biosludge from incineration to the gasification process, thereby reducing point source emissions. It will be the first full-scale installation globally where thermal hydrolysis is used to enable the conversion of biosludge into hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals.
“Today’s contract is important for Cambi, marking our first full-scale THP project for industrial substrates outside of Norway. The project is unique in the world and introduces a new, sustainable way to process large streams of biosludge.
“The swift progress from demonstration to full-scale adoption shows that THP makes business sense in many settings,” Cambi CEO Eirik Fadnes said.
The THP equipment supply contract follows an engineering design project carried out by Cambi earlier this year in close collaboration with Wood, which was commissioned to deliver the full sludge refunnelling solution.
For Cambi, the project is ready to go into the manufacturing phase. The two THP systems are scheduled for commissioning in 2024.