General Information

Disintegration is the mechanical disruption of the floc structure of sludge and the microorganisms which the sludge consists of. The objective is to release intracellular products in order to achieve a higher degree of degradation of organic matter in the sludge and as a measure against sludge bulking. Disintegration can be applied to improve the anaerobic digestion, to provide internal carbon sources for denitrification or to improve the settleability of bulking sludge.

In June 1998 the new ATV Task Group 3.1.6 "Sewage Sludge Disintegration" under the chairmanship of Dr. Johannes Müller (Technical University of Braunschweig) was founded. The members of the task group do active research or work in wastewater associations or commercial companies within the wastewater sector.

The objective of the task group is to inform all members of the ATV about the background and applicability of the process of mechanical disintegration.

The task group will aim to evaluate the different process applications of mechanical disintegration.  Aspects like practicability, integration into the operation of a treatment plant, specific energy consumption and economy will be examined. Results of tests with half or full scale pilot plants will be collected in order to inform about the actual knowledge.

So far the task group has concentrated on the process of mechanical disintegration. The findings have been presented within the scope of two reports. The task group is recently working on thermal, chemical and biological processes.