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 What You Don't Know Could 
Be Costing You Thousands

The cost of sludge concentration and disposal is one of the largest items in a plant�s Operating Budget. Reducing costs is not as simple as limiting polymer to 20 lb./ton. You have to know if adding $5 more polymer will save you $6 in disposal cost. How do you get more out of the centrifuge? Is the Polymer system OK? And when that�s done, how to balance the costs?

This course, Cost Effective Centrifugation will change the way you think about sludge. You will learn how to diagnose and fix problems you have been living with (and paying for) for years.

I can tell you right now, that the training the centrifuge manufacturer gave you when they commissioned the equipment was just enough to operate it, and no more. Operating the dewatering system without understanding it, runs up costs. Knowledge is the key to lowering your budget and keeping it low.

Every day I see plants wasting polymer and hauling excess water to the land fill, because no one taught the operators how to optimize the centrifuge and the systems connected to it.

Cost Effective Centrifugation will enable your operators to really understand what's going on inside the centrifuge, and how it will react to change.

1.    Water and the Sludge Particle

What it is that makes sludge difficult to dewater.

  1. The Basics of Centrifuges

How they work and what is happening inside. Including a simple, practical model for understanding the operation and control of centrifuges.

  1. Troubles in the Wet End

What sort of things going on in the wet end of the plant will impact thickening and dewatering. Small changes can result in big improvements to the dewatering operation.

  1.   What�s the Mystery about Optimization?

Pond Setting, Bowl speed, and Torque set points; how these can save you thousands of dollars each month! 

  1.  Understanding Polymers & Polymer Systems

Is the polymer system working well? Is the polymer reacting properly? Poor polymer make-up results in wasted polymer! You will learn the simple field tests to determine if the problem is with the polymer, the polymer makeup system, the sludge, or the centrifuge.

  1.   Polymer Contracts & Bidding

What�s the best way to conduct a polymer trial to assure you get the best price?  

  1. Calculations for Operators

Common polymer calculations, Basic centrifuge calculations: G force, Capture, Power

  1. Basin Operations

The three things the operator should check daily. Operator logs and record keeping. Easy ways to measure the vibration level.

  1. Maintenance & Repair

How to deal with repair shops. What to demand from them to minimize getting ripped off. Where to get parts, besides the obvious. How often should you really change the oil? Plus three home built tools to simplify maintenance.

Please see the detailed agenda below

Centrifuge Optimization, hands on school.

Hands on program that offers real time savings.   

After the Centrifuge School, on three consecutive days, we carry out the optimization.  Most plants have a number of supervisors and maintenance persons in the hands on training, as well as the centrifuge operators.  If I do the optimization, with the assistance of those operators on duty, the quality of the optimization and the results will be very good, but the training value will be so-so.  If we divide the group into teams of 3-4 persons, and I supervise them in developing the data themselves, following the attached agenda, they will learn more, but being on a learning curve, the results will be good, but inevitably with a few rough spots. 

We commonly adjust the times to suit the Plant's schedule.

1.      Day one AM Divide into teams, and start developing an optimization curve of cake dryness vs. polymer dosage.  PM demonstrate polymer jar testing, followed by hands on by operators.

2.      Day two Resume optimization.  Calibrate the polymer system.  Take all measurements necessary to calculate the active concentration of the polymer going to the centrifuge.  Compare centrifuge performance at two polymer addition points. 

3.      Day three Finish up optimization, and if time permits, change the pond setting on one centrifuge.  I will depart the plant about 3PM

4.      Within two weeks of the receipt of sample analysis, I shall submit a 7 to 10 page report to you evaluating the program, including an audit of the dewatering area.  I specifically show:

          The cost savings demonstrated by the program

         Suggestions of ways to improve the overall operation

         A calculation section, laying out in easy to follow manner, the way calculated the polymer concentration, as well as other necessary calculations

         An active spreadsheet that automatically calculates the combined dewatering/disposal costs. 

Detailed Agenda

Each group will have a centrifuge to work on, and cycle through the following unit operations: 

1.      Calibrate the neat polymer addition system.  Calculate the polymer concentration going to the centrifuge Calibrate the centrifuge polymer pump.

 2.      Perform a polymer jar test for 5 different dosages of polymer.  Compare with a test using the same ratio of polymer to sludge as is running on their designated centrifuge.

3.      Evaluate the centrifuge at four different polymer dosages, developing an operating curve

 4.      Evaluate three different polymer addition points, collect samples, or observe to determine the effects of the addition point.

 5.      Optional:  One centrifuge will be selected to evaluate dam changes.  Each group will establish the base line performance.  Change the pond, and determine the change in the centrifuge's performance.

 6.      I will meet with maintenance personnel and go over history, and go over maintenance procedures.  Included is a one to two hour (depends upon questions) Maintenance oriented class.  This covers, among other things, how to bid outside repairs, alternate sources of parts, etc.

Final Report/Audit

  • The final report usually runs 7-10 pages, and will contain an operating curve of cake dryness vs. polymer dosage for your plant, which is crucial to evaluate dewatering cost.
  • Evaluation of the polymer addition points and if time permitted, a pond change.
  • The final report contains the data collected, and spread sheets automatically establishing the lowest cost (Polymer and Disposal) at your plant, for two different disposal costs. 
  • We e-mail a copy of the active excel data sheet so that the plant has a convenient way to calculate costs in the future.
  • We evaluate the polymer system, and recommend changes to eliminate demonstrated short comings.
  • We evaluate maintenance and repair experiences.
  • We recommend dam changes and bowl speed changes where appropriate.
  • We offer suggestions for further improvements to the plant

Some plants have successfully applied for certification credit for this program. 

Polymer Evaluation and Procurement for Everyone!  (Belt press, Centrifuges, whatever!) 

This course ignores the BS the vendors give you about the cross-linked dibutlmucktane hopscotch polymerization�it is all red polymer, blue polymer and green polymer.  This course is equally useful for belt filter presses, centrifuges, gravity decks, etc.  You don�t need to be an engineer to drive a car, and you don�t need to be a chemist to be comfortable with polymer evaluation and testing.  We�ll show you how.  

         The very basics.  How polymers work.  How to dilute the polymers, basic safety, and clean up.  Emulsions, solutions, and dry polymer.  Which do you need.

            How to evaluate polymers. Define the goals, optimize first, encourage competition.  Let the vendors do the jar testing, but not the plant trial.

          The basic polymer contract.  A sample contract developed by Mike Zabilansky (Metropolitan District Commission Hartford Conn.), as described in Bidding the Polymer Contract, WE&T November 2006, pp60-63.  Students will receive an active copy of the contract in word.  Because polymer vendors balk at fixed price, multiyear contracts, this contract has a US Government cost escalator to adjust the price up or down, for multi year contracts.

         The plant view of polymer trials.  Single and double blind evaluation, Basic planning.  Equipment, measuring, evaluation.   

         Control throughout the year.  Use the jar test to:  Evaluate the polymer make up system, the water source, and quality control to assure your self that they delivered the same polymer they tested.

Cost Effective Centrifugation

Application for Training

Training Agenda for 2014

Phone: 215-348-7879
Mobile: 267-252-3283