Finding value in DAF sludge

ACREC Director Annel Greene and John Harden of the Clemson Environmental Technology Laboratory are leading a team that is conducting an exploratory study to determine the chemical and microbial nature of dissolved air flotation (DAF) sludge.

The goal is to find value-added uses for this waste material. DAF sludge is a complex mixture of fats, proteins, water and organic and inorganic flocculating agents.

The researchers are reviewing available literature concerning DAF sludge composition and remediation, reviewing patents on DAF sludge handling, and analyzing DAF samples. They are seeking to determine if new pre-treatment options could be developed to convert this problematic waste stream into value-added products. The team is seeking methods to remove components to make handling easier and reduce energy consumption for removing water.  They are especially interested in finding ways to recover the fat from the DAF sludge as well as methods to break the emulsion generated from DAF treatment polymers.