The object of sludge characterization must be to get quantitative mea sures for sludge behaviour in treatment processes and when disposed of. Thus the incentive for characterization could be one of the following: 1. Because sludges exist in large quantities we want to know the amounts and the expenees involved in their treatment and disposal. 2. Because sludges are environmental nuicances/hazards, energy sourc:-es, fertilizers or even food sources; we want to know their potential. 3. Because the processes change the sludge propert~es, we w~nt to know their "treatability". 4. 5ecause sludges have a history, we want to know how the generation process affects the quantities and the properties of raw sludge. Parallel to the characterization of the sludges runs characterization of the sludge treatment-processes and the environment in which we dispose of the sludge. In the following discussion we will group parameters related to sludges into three cathegories: 1. Sludge Quantity. Both total ~nd per capita sludge production data from all connnon sewage and sludge treatment methods are of "interest. 2. Treatability parameters. These are characteristics of how a sludge behaves in a specific process. Typically; dewaterability and digesta bility. 3. Sludge quality parameters. These are indicators of how the sludge could influence the environment when disposed of. Sludge quality changes through most sludge treatment processes (stabilization, ther mal etc.) and include concentrations of chemical compounds, pathogenes etc.
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