The world’s first automatic floating sludge ‘skimmer-separator’ is officially launching at VA-mässan ushering a fresh dawn for a notoriously challenging aspect of wastewater treatment.
Stockholm-based SurfCleaner will unveil the latest addition to its world-class portfolio of innovative solutions at the Water and Wastewater Fair.
Marking the first public display of the SCW 6000, the event provides a springboard to showcase a new approach for the management of floating sludge, affecting wastewater treatment plants worldwide.
Accumulating in large volumes, sludge residue is created as a by-product of the wastewater treatment processes, coming in the form of solid, semisolid or slurry residual material.
Floating sludge in particular is costly, time-intensive and energy-draining to manage, with operators traditionally resorting to manual flushing and pumping with vast quantities of water. The surface-level sludge rots after around 15-days, releasing noxious odors.
SurfCleaner is now presenting a fully automated solution with the SCW 6000, relieving the labor-intensive process, while improving working conditions and general health and safety. In addition to sludge collection, the system also crucially separates the material presenting an opportunity for re-use in the form of biogas or fertilizer, contributing to the circular economy.
SurfCleaner VP Sales Johan Jubner said the firm will initially target the Nordics with Sweden presenting major opportunities alone with circa 2,300 wastewater plants. However, attention will soon turn global, through SurfCleaner’s extensive distributor network spanning the EU, Middle East and Americas.
“We are thrilled to officially launch the SCW 6000 at VA-mässan, which is widely recognized as one of the water industry's premier meeting places,” he said. “The product has been developed in response to industry demand, specifically addressing the challenges presented by floating sludge. It offers several core benefits, eliminating manual work and heavy pumping which boosts environmental standards and general working conditions. >From a commercial standpoint it streamlines several operational processes while slashing water and energy usage. It further increases the overall supply of renewable energy through the recycling of waste. In terms of figures, based on calculations from current pilot projects, clients have estimated annual savings approaching SEK 600,000 (€60,000) per year.”
As part of the special launch event at VA-mässan, SurfCleaner is now offering free one-week trials to any wastewater operator keen to test the innovative technology and witness the full array of benefits firsthand. The firm is currently finalizing pilot stage testing with three separate machines installed in live working environments across Sweden.
Estimations from one wastewater operator, based on initial findings, show the SCW 6000 has separation capacity to process around 66tonnes of liquid sludge per year. This could be converted into 5% dry matter content, and further used to produce biochar / biogas corresponding to 370MWh of renewable energy per annum.
“The considerable amount of water used to treat floating sludge, through traditional flushing and pumping techniques leads to major water mixing,” said Mr Jubner. “This means the energy content within the floating sludge is ultimately lost. In addition, floating sludge which is pumped away is not used as a resource either, as energy intensive and costly drainage and drying would be required. Our pilot projects have shown that the SCW 6000 can revolutionize this process with more efficient collection and separation of floating sludge for re-use in the circular economy. The machine has also demonstrated a direct impact on treatment plants’ process parameters, enabling further energy efficiency.”
SurfCleaner is part of Inovacor AB - a development company offering a range of products based on the pumping principles and auto-regulating function of the human heart. The DAPP (Dynamic Adaptive Piston Pump) technology was discovered by Swedish clinical physiologist Dr Stig Lundbäck MD PhD, in the 1980s.
Around 40 SurfCleaner units have been installed in the oil-water separation segment, serving a variety of customers including the Swedish Coast Guard, Ragn-Sells, Aeration Argentina, Preem Refinery, Esso Refinery, Sonatrach Refinery, Exxon Mobil and Ports of Stockholm.