Rotary Press Upgrade Drastically Improves Solids Processing Rate

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Rotary Press Upgrade Drastically Improves Solids Processing Rate

Problem: The City of Lancaster, South Carolina, faced a sludge dewatering crisis as their existing system struggled to meet the growing demand due to population expansion and the unreliability of aging equipment. Even when operational, the existing "fan press" dewatering system could only process 14 gallons per minute and achieve 8% cake solids. This inefficiency compelled the city to transport liquid sludge at a significant cost.

Solution: In October 2018, during a downtime of the existing system, the city conducted a trial of the Fournier Rotary Press. The trial proved highly successful, prompting Lancaster to acquire a six-channel rotary press, which was installed in July 2019. Within four months of continuous operation, the rotary press demonstrated remarkable improvement, processing at a rate of 80–100 gpm and delivering a cake dryness between 17% and 18% total solids. The digesters, sourced by the press, were now emptied in two to three days compared to the previous system's two-week timeframe, offering the city greater operational flexibility.

Results: A significant advantage of the Fournier press over the old fan press was the drastic reduction in polymer consumption, resulting in substantial cost savings. Plant superintendent Donnie Ledford notes, "Our polymer budget is expected to decrease by two-thirds, and concerns about solids levels are no longer an issue." The successful implementation of the Fournier Rotary Press not only addressed the city's immediate sludge dewatering needs but also delivered cost-effective and efficient results.

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