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Industrial Sludge Treatment Processes: A Concise Introduction

Publish Date: February 14, 2020

The task of removing the industrial sludge is usually a complicated one. Industrial sludge treatment processes are helping to get rid of harmful chemicals and substances from sludge that is generated from various industries. Dive in to know about all the primary types of methods used for sludge treatment.

Industrial sludge treatment processes are the mechanisms and processes used to treat waters that have been contaminated in some way by anthropogenic industrial or commercial activities prior to its release into the environment or its re-use. The treatment concentrates the impurities into a smaller volume of liquid, called sludge.

Despite the recent innovations and trends emerging to minimize such production or recycle such waste within the production process, many industries yet seen to be dependent on the processes that contribute to produce wastewaters.

Industrial wastewater generally contains massive amount of organic and inorganic impurities in varied degrees of concentration. Sometimes they include toxic and other harmful materials as well as components that are non-biodegradable, which can diminish the effectiveness of many wastewater-treatment operations.

Basic Industrial Sludge Removal Methods

The treatment of industrial wastewaters is a typically very difficult task, requiring special methods and sophisticated technologies. Physical, chemical and biological are the three primary treatment methods of industrial sludge.

Physical Treatment: This method includes sedimentation, flotation, filtering, stripping, ion exchange, adsorption and other processes that remove dissolved and non-dissolved substances without necessarily changing their chemical structures.

Chemical Treatment: This method includes chemical precipitation, chemical oxidation or reduction, formation of an insoluble gas followed by stripping, and other chemical reactions that involve exchanging or sharing electrons between atoms.

Biological Treatment method: This method relies upon living organisms using organic or, in some instances, inorganic substances for food.

3 Types of Industrial Sludge Treatment Plants by Industry

Effluent Treatment Plants

Effluent Treatment Plants (ETP) are typically used by the giant pharmaceutical and industrial organizations. Industrial effluents contain different types of impurities. While some of them contain oil and grease, some contain extremely harmful toxic materials such as cyanide. In order to remove these diverse types of wastes, industries succumb to the Effluent Treatment Plants or ETP, a specific treatment technology.

During the manufacturing process of drugs, various effluents and contaminants are produced. The ETPs are used in the removal process of high amount of organics, debris, grit, dirt, pollutants, toxic and non-toxic materials, polymers etc. The ETP plants use evaporation and drying methods, and other auxiliary techniques such as centrifuging, filtration, incineration for chemical processing and effluent treatment.

Sewage Water Treatment Plant

This process is used to sack the contaminants from wastewater and family unit sewage in a large scale. It integrates physical, biological, and chemical procedures to get rid of the impurities. Pre-treatment helps to relinquish materials that are amassed from the raw wastewater in order to avoid any sort of damage or congestion of pipes and pumps. Currently, in the plants serving wide-ranging populations, the process is done with an automated and mechanically rounded bar screen. While in the smaller and less modern plants, a manually cleaned screen might be applied.

The effluents are amassed later to be placed in a landfill or burned. Sometimes, pre-treatment may include Grit evacuation in which, a sand or coarseness channel or chamber where the speed of the approaching wastewater is intentionally controlled to permit stones, sand, grit to settle.

Combined Effluent Treatment Plants

At many times, the small-scale industries don’t get sufficient energy, space, or funds to set up such treatment structures of their own. Therefore, they depend on a consolidated networking system arrangement of plants to remove the wastewater. Combined effluent treatment plants are introduced recurrently in order to combat the reach of these organization’s belongings.


Princy A. J

Princy holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the prestigious Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. University at Chennai, India. After a successful academic record, she pursued her passion for writing. A thorough professional and enthusiastic writer, she enjoys writing on various categories and advancements in the global industries. She plays an instrumental role in writing about current updates, news, blogs, and trends.