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Introduction of the FABER-AMBRA® process in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
First Interim Report
Second Interim Report
|Project implementation||FABER-Recycling GmbH, Schlierschied|
|Project specialists||Dipl.-Ing. D. Maak
Dipl.-Ing. C. Pereira
|Project director||Wolfgang Tönges|
|Schlierschied, March 2000|
The Faber Recycling GmbH has been carrying out a pilot project since 01.09.99 to introduce the FABER-AMBRA®-process in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This pilot project is sponsored by the BMBF (sponsorship reg. no. 1481203). The aim of the research project is to test the suitability of the FABER-AMBRA®-process for waste treatment in Rio de Janeiro.
The FABER-AMBRA®-process is a mechanical-biological waste treatment that has been successfully used in the market in Germany for many years. The treatment avoids, to the greatest possible extent, negative effects in the environment of waste sediment. It can be proven that for many years in Germany the industrial operation following treatment with the FABER-AMBRA®-process, the sediment characteristics have considerably improved. Gas emissions especially are reduced in fresh waste from 150-180 l/kg to less than 1 l/kg. Following build up of the rotting heap, the waste seepage contains only a relatively low organic capacity. At the Meisenheim plant a BSB5 value of <3 mg/l is documented.
The aim of the Rio research project is to prove the suitability of the FABER-AMBRA®-process under different climatic circumstances and for a different waste composition compared to that in Germany. Consequently, a research project was designed by Faber Recycling GmbH and is scientifically supported by the University of Braunschweig, Germany and the University of Rio. The project is sponsored by BMBF (sponsorship reg. no. 1481203).
2. Working plan
The research project commenced on the 01.09.99, according to plan. From the 03.9.99 to 14.10.99 two specialists from Faber Recycling GmbH supervised the commencement of work on the pilot project in Rio de Janeiro. During this period, the homogenising drum was first checked for its suitability. This particular homogenising drum is a semi-mechanical drum especially acquired for this research project. The mobile drum has a special unit built in to tear and break down plastic bags.
The output from the homogenising drum was of a consistency required for the biological treatment. Complete mixing of the waste took place. The bags were broken down and the waste thoroughly dampened. Pictures 1and 2 give an impression how the mobile homogenising drum is filled, together with the removal of the waste following mechanical treatment. In picture 2 the mechanical treated waste can be clearly recognised.
The waste was then built up in rotting heaps by use of a wheeled loader. The special construction of the heaps is carried out in the same way as in Germany, using the FABER-AMBRA®-process. The waste is built up to a height of 2 m and covered with a layer of bio-filters. Above this layer, an irrigation system is installed to water the heaps. In picture 3 a completely operational rotting heap can be seen. Picture 4 shows the team involved in building the heap, the FABER-AMBRA and the COMLURB employees.
3. Scientific results
The individual results of measurements carried out are extensively covered in the first interim report of the COPPE which is enclosed. This report therefore only summarises and assesses these results.
3.1 Mechanical Treatment
With different test runs it was proven that sufficient mixing and humidifying of the waste together with satisfactory breaking down of the waste bags had been reached. The addition of the water was enabled with a tanker supplied by the COMLURB. Approximately 2 m³ of water was added to the waste with each filling of the homogenising drum. After the mechanical treatment, the output had been prepared for best optimal use for the subsequent biological treatment. This result was the same as that achieved with the industrial mixing and homogenising drum in Meisenheim, Germany.
3.2 Biological Treatment
For the duration of the project, the University of Rio de Janeiro scientifically supports the biological treatment. Specific gauges were built into the rotting heap as operational control. These gauges measure the temperature in the heap at regular intervals and gas samples are taken for analysis in the laboratory. These temperature measurements show if the decomposing process in the rotting heap is proceeding according to plan. The heap must have a constant temperature of 50 - 70°C for the decomposing process to take place in the proper way. The analysis of the gas composition serves to confirm ventilation of the heaps. Since the FABER-AMBRA®-process is an aerobic-cell process, it must be ensured that sufficient oxygen is contained in the heap at all times. If the effect of the ventilation is not sufficient, then an anaerobic-cell condition will develop. This can be confirmed if methane is found on analysing of the gas samples. A sufficient ventilation effect means that a methane volume <1Vol.% must exist at all times in the analysed samples. Methane volume of 1 - 5% show small disturbances in the heap that are, however, insignificant. Only methane volumes of > 5 Vol.% which exist over longer periods show malfunctioning of the heap. The test of heap 1 shows that no methane was found within that heap. Some samples contained small volumes of CO2 which indicates that appropriate decomposing processes occurred. When the oxygen content at no time sinks significantly below 21 Vol.%, sufficient ventilation in the heaps is ensured.
In December 99 a sample of the solid matter was taken from the heaps for the first time. At the time of the preparation of this interim report, results of the analyses of this solid matter were not yet available. It can therefore only be pointed out again that there was no odour emission when the samples were taken by digging from the heap. The heap was sufficiently damp in all places and a temperature of 70° C was detected in these areas.
The operation of the heaps during the first four months confirms the same positive results for Rio de Janeiro just as for the model plants in Germany. At no time was there any wind-blown paper or plastic. There was no offensive smell and no infestation of the heaps had taken place. Particularly, frequently occurring problems with birds were not observed.
3.3 Operation of dump simulation reactors
To assess the state of the sediment in waste dumps as well as the assessment of gas and water emissions, dump simulation reactors (DSR) are used. In these DSR's the sedimentation condition can be simulated using a stop-motion device.
Documenting the success of the waste treatment with the FABER-AMBRA®-process, is carried out by the University of Rio de Janeiro operating two DSR's. The untreated waste as built up in rotting heaps during mechanical-biological treatment was put into the first DSR in September 1999. At the end of the treatment with the FABER-AMBRA®-process after one year, the waste was removed from the heap and used in a further DSR. With the results then produced, the success of the treatment in relation to the emission potential can be shown. In particular, the parameters for gas production and water seepage which are simulated with the DSR's are then compared with fresh waste and waste treated with the FABER- AMBRA®-process. In the framework of the scientific support of the pilot project it was intentional to fill the first DSR with fresh waste which was also used for the build-up of heap 1. This took place parallel to the build-up of the heap. The waste was placed into a DSR in the laboratory of COPPE. Fig. 1displays the system outline of the DSR model as it was built.
Picture 5 shows the DSR as manufactured in Rio. This DSR stands in a room with a constant temperature of approx. 30° C. The room temperature is taken at regular intervals together with the temperature of the waste in the DSR. Analyses of the water seepage cycle display the emission potential. The analyses of the water seepage from the DSR, mirror the usual amount of waste water seepage from a normal household waste dump. Gas production from the waste has not yet commenced. This could possibly be caused by acidification or because of a DSR that is not yet fully operational. In this respect, an improvement will be made in the furtherance of this plan. These problems, as they presently appear, are normal and also occurred in this scientific field in Germany at commencement of the use of such DSR's.
Picture 5: Operational DSR in the COPPE laboratory
3.4 Marking the used waste
For marking the used waste a sorting analysis was carried out, the results of which are also displayed in the enclosed report by COPPE. The resulting analyses show the highly organic parts expected at inception of the research project actually exist in the waste.
In February 2000 another rotting heap was constructed. The aim of this
heap is to prove that during the prevailing rainy season in Rio, during
February and March, the heaps would operate as expected. Scientific evaluation
for this heap was restricted to its operational control. First results
were available in April/May 2000. According to these results, the expectations
for this pilot project have been fully met.
At the present time the results indicate that by using the FABER-AMBRA®-process in Brazil, the same operating results as in Germany can be achieved.
Visitors to the project have repeatedly commented on the positive impression it has made upon them. Amongst these visitors were local representatives of bodies responsible for waste disposal and sewage, and politicians, together with representatives of licensing authorities and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für technische Zusammenarbeit (German association for technical co-operation). These positive results will contribute to a successful marketing campaign in Brazil.