The EPA describes sewage sludge incinerators as "an enclosed device or devices using controlled flame combustion that burns sewage sludge for the purpose of reducing the volume of sewage sludge by removing combustible matter." Based on this description, gasifiers, including sludge dryers, have not been identified as a sewage sludge incinerator because it does not combust sewage sludge. Therefore, gasification units / sludge dryers for waste were not subject to the same EPA regulations as other sewage sludge incinerators. This will be changing, and soon…

Gasification units or sludge dryers are used to convert solid waste including sewage sludge and other types of waste to useful products such as energy, fuel, and chemical commodities. While gasification has been used for some time, it has become an increasing popular method for waste incineration and therefore now under review for increased EPA regulations as those for other sewage sludge incinerators.

Waste treatment plants that have been using sludge dryers for waste elimination will now have to re-evaluate how they treat sludge and other waste as these new regulations may require the need to purchase new equipment or to consider an alternative treatment method.

EPA Regulations and PFAS

Within the waste industry regulations have been instituted around PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) elimination. PFAS substances – also known as “forever chemicals” due to their long-lasting properties. These substances that are used in products to prolong the life of the product are being found throughout the environment causing concern.

As an alternative to new equipment, existing multiple hearth furnaces can be rehabbed to meet these new EPA regulations around PFAS elimination. This will often be a better, more cost-efficient alternative to new equipment. 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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