Sustainable solutions for handling wastewater treatment sludge - A chemical engineering education case study
Conference contribution, 2004
The Environmentally Sustainable Process Technology international Masters program at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden, aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to improve and develop processes that are environmentally sustainable as well as economically sound. The program includes courses in core chemical engineering as well as applied environmental engineering areas. The social development aspects of sustainability for the chemical process industry are also taken up, i.e. how a process interacts with the surrounding world, including rules and regulations, public acceptance, risk, political aspects, etc. The Case Study project course is a key feature of the program, in which the knowledge acquired in the programs core course subject areas are used to solve an industrially relevant process engineering problem. The problem analysis and assessment of the proposed solution focus on various aspects of sustainability, including economical viabilityenvironmental impact and waste minimisation. This paper presents the results of a case study project that investigated the possible implementation of a SCWO (SuperCritical Water Oxidation) process plant for treatment of sludge from a Wastewater Treatment Plant in the Göteborg area. The project was related to a broader ongoing project GÖTEBORG 2050 that aims at generating long-term and sustainable future visions to be used for planning purposes in the City of Göteborg area. The paper aims at illustrating how chemical engineering education can introduce students to using process engineering methods and tools to identify sustainable solutions for e.g. energy planning and waste treatment problems. The Göteborg 2050 project provides a context for the students to relate to, thus facilitating for them to adopt the holistic attitude necessary for sustainable development.