PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) have been an important topic recently as the number of these “forever chemicals” have increasingly been found in water and soil throughout the United States. Therefore, government agencies have been working on requirements for removal of these substances from waste and wastewater to help reduce the likelihood of them entering the environment.  As the need for removing PFAS from wastewater becomes more critical, waste and wastewater treatment companies are determining the best method for removal which requires high temperature incineration.

Though waste treatment plants may currently have a multiple hearth furnace for waste incineration, these furnaces may not be equipped to address the elimination of PFAS. To remedy this, they may be considering the addition of a sludge dryer to meet the required treatment needs. But, it’s important to note that this may not be necessary – and that the rehab of a current multiple hearth furnace can likely be completed for a lower cost, and without some of the problems that come with a sludge dryer.

Here are some of the advantages of rehabbing an existing multiple hearth furnace for PFAS elimination vs investing in a new sludge dryer:

  • Sludge Pumps Will Result in Fewer Conveyance Problems and Reduce Hauling Required

    The addition of sludge pumps to a multiple hearth furnace would be needed in order to prevent build up and prevent burners from not lighting. This would result in fewer conveyance problems and reduce the amount of hauling required with a standard multiple hearth furnace. It’s important to note that sludge pumps would be needed for a new dryer system as well – so these would be required in either case.
  • Low Fuel and Electricity Usage

    Multiple hearth furnaces are fueled by sludge and therefore they don’t require the same amount of natural resources for operation as a sludge dryer. This reduces the dependency on natural gas and is a more environmentally friendly option overall.
  • Integrated Upgraded Control System

    To facilitate operation of the multiple hearth furnace for removing PFAS, the control system would need to be upgraded as part of the rehab. However, if a new dryer is installed, not only would a new control system be needed, but this system would need to be integrated into existing software which would likely be more expensive than upgrading the already integrated multiple hearth furnace controls.

  • Operations Already Trained on Multiple Hearth Furnace

    Upgrading an existing multiple hearth furnace will cause very little disruption in operations as they are already familiar with use of the unit. The addition of a sludge dryer would require retraining and loss of production time.

  • No Hauling Costs

    A multiple hearth furnace will eliminate the waste while a sludge dryer would still require hauling to a landfill. Not only would there be costs associated with hauling the dried waste, but many landfills are not accepting sludge so it may be difficult to find a location.
  • A Fraction of the Cost

    Rehabilitation of an existing multiple hearth furnace to include power generation can be completed for a fraction of the cost of a new sludge dryer system. In addition, the on-going operating costs of a multiple hearth furnace will be much less than a sludge dryer.

Industrial Furnace Company can upgrade an existing multiple hearth furnace to meet the EPA regulations for destruction of PFAS. Contact us to learn more about this service and how we can help you.

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