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Determination of technological requirements for adequation of the physical and chemical properties of water treatment plant sludge, for beneficial use in earth work

Abstract

The proper management of the sludge generated in water treatment plants (WTPs) is a challenge that is still current worldwide, given that, in most cases, they are still being disposed of in landfills. The desire reversibility of the material encounters obstacles associated with its composition, the low energy potential and the limited capacity to substitute natural aggregates, which in many cases makes the costs unviable of beneficial uses already reported as technically feasible. In Brazil, WTP sludge is disposed of in landfills and even thrown into water courses, in spite of the current legal regulation that classifies them as reverse non-hazardous waste, for which priority should be given to minimizing and recycling solutions that enhance the circular economy. It is in this context that this research project is proposed, with the objective of determining the technological requirements for the adequacy of the physical and chemical properties of the WTP sludge, for beneficial use in earth works. This research will carry out a cross-sectional study capable of showing the variability of the composition of two types of WTP sludge and their thermal behavior; thermal treatment requirements for sludge will be established and tested; and potential geotechnical uses for thermally treated sludge will also be evaluated. It is an applied research with quantitative and qualitative data to be treated by a multidisciplinary team that, in addition to the technical feasibility issues, will address the environmental aspects related to the topic. The results of the research may guide the management of sludge in Brazilian WTPs and support the development of technology for the thermal treatment of WTP sludge. In addition, it will contribute to the expansion of scientific knowledge and the training of qualified human resources (AU)

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