There’s a lot of sludge out there, and there’s a constant procession of companies touting various technological solutions to making sludge problems go away.

A new one just now came over the transom, from a listserve that pretty much passes along information without critical analysis. They don’t have the time or expertise for that, and I certainly don’t fault them for it. Anyway, this one provides some fodder for illustrating a few important points to municipal officials, engineers, plant operators, and the like.

One important point in stepping toward any sort of new technology is to get on the horn (i.e., the telephone) and ask people on the front lines of doing it. In this case, to learn more one would want to call the utilities director, and, better yet, the operators at the wastewater treatment plant where MaxWest Environmental Systems, Inc. has been putting in their

novel gasification and heat integration process that captures the energy contained in biosolids through five primary steps: materials handling, drying, gasification, thermal oxidation, and energy recovery.

How’s that working out these days, at this facility (in Sanford, Florida)? It would be a good thing if this approach is indeed working out as advertised, but as this is apparently their “showcase” installation, one would do well to monitor progress on the front lines.

I’d also contact the local engineering firm that’s been working on these facilities, CHP Engineers. For some reason, I can’t find any links to this project on their web site.