Thomas Senfter, Igor Schweiggl, Manuel Berger, Christian Mayerl, Tobias Kofler, Michael Kraxner, Axel Steffens, Martin Pillei

The Dewatering Performance of a Compact Screw Press Manure Separator for Non-Typical Substrates

  • Filtration and Separation
  • Analytical Chemistry

The dewatering of substrates is one of the key tasks in the handling of material flows in a circular economy. Besides belt filters, sedimenters, and decanters, screw presses are frequently used to reduce the water content of substrates. However, screw presses available on the market are usually designed for high throughputs (>5 m3/h). The dewatering of smaller feed rates (<1 m3/h), however, requires more compact solutions. For this reason, a compact screw press (short screw length), which is normally used in agriculture for cow manure dewatering, was investigated in this work, as there exist no publications on this type of compact screw press. A mobile test setup was developed and loaded with different material such as digested sludge from a wastewater treatment plant, commercially available potting soil, wood shavings, and biological waste. The dry matter content of the feed material, the feed material itself, the screw rotational speed, and the weight setting (pressure) at the back plate were varied, and the effects on the dewatering result were recorded. A significant influence on the dewatering result was found for the weight setting, the type of substrate (particle size), and the dry substance content of the feed material. The tests confirmed that the compact screw press separator is suitable for the dewatering of wood shavings and biological waste (with an increase in dry matter percentage of up to 7.7%). The direct dewatering of potting soil and digested sludge is not possible and can only be implemented by using structural support material. This study fills the gap between published work on large screw presses and potentially new application fields of compact screw press manure separators, which, until now, have only been used in agriculture.

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