Versatile Separation

AGM decanter centrifuge from GEA Westfalia suits stationary or mobile dewatering
Versatile  Separation
Jim Hanson, technical manager for GEA Westfalia, discusses the applications of the AGM decanter centrifuge dewatering device with an attendee at the 2015 WWETT Show. The continuously operating centrifuge with a horizontal solid-wall bowl is used to dewater biosolids and manure.

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Biosolids are increasingly recognized as a valuable source of plant nutrients but require smart management. Municipalities are on the lookout for efficiency, and one product at the Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show drew municipal operators and private contractors seeking a cost-effective dewatering analysis.

The AGM decanter centrifuge from GEA Westfalia Separator is a continuously operating centrifuge with a horizontal solid-wall bowl developed specifically to dewater biosolids and manure. According to Jim Hanson, technical manager, the show provided a good cross-section of the target market for the product.

“We talk to a lot of municipalities at this show, which is really our bread and butter,” says Hanson. “But with liquid hauling getting so expensive, private waste haulers and farmers are looking to cut costs, too. This product serves them as well.”

Centrifuges are available in a range of sizes and can be built on mobile units with pumps and other equipment for transport to different locations. The technology removes particles as small as 40 microns without added chemicals and without blocking or plugging. The unit is compact and easy to install, operate and maintain. PLC automated controls adjust automatically to changing feed streams. The unit requires little energy. “For municipalities, this product is all about efficiently managing costs,” says Hanson.

In treatment plants, the unit can significantly reduce solids volumes and mechanical thickening of waste-activated sludge, which reduces the load on the digester and improves digestion and gas yield. It is available in sizes from 8- to 41-inch bowl diameters with flow rates from 5 to 1,500 gpm. The versatile unit can also be used in the drilling mud market for oilsands cleanup and in mines for water buildup and reuse. Hanson says attending events such as WWETT not only provides the opportunity to market the product, it gives him the chance to see it from a different perspective.

“We get different ideas all the time,” he says. “I had one WWETT attendee ask about how the product would apply to tank-bottom cleaning. That’s an application we hadn’t really explored.” GEA Westfalia shared its booth with sister company GEA Farm Technologies, focused on manure management and land application.

“In this market, it’s really a symbiotic relationship, especially with more municipalities looking at both land application of biosolids and production of biogas,” says Hanson. “The technologies are very similar, and those are practices the agriculture industry has been using for decades.”

Hanson hopes to bring the technology back to next year’s show: “This show enables us to bring awareness to many people who may not have considered this technology as a money-saver,” he says. “We had a lot of serious leads out of this show, which tells me that versatility is on their minds. I’ve seen more plant operators here than in the past, too. I think that trend will only continue as more consider biosolids application.” 



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