Studies on the gasification performance of sludge cake pre-treated by hydrothermal carbonization

Sang Yeop Lee, Se Won Park, Md Tanvir Alam, Yean Ouk Jeong, Yong Chil Seo, Hang Seok Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Proper treatment and careful management of sewage sludge are essential because its disposal can lead to adverse environmental impacts such as public health hazards, as well as air, soil, and water pollution. Several efforts are being made currently not only to safely dispose of sewage sludge but also to utilize it as an energy source. Therefore, in this study, initiatives were taken to valorize sewage sludge cake by reducing the moisture content and increasing the calorific value by applying a hydrothermal treatment technique for efficient energy recovery. The sludge cake treated at 200 °C for 1 h was found to be the optimum condition for hydrothermal carbonization, as, in this condition, the caloric value of the treated sludge increased by 10% and the moisture content removed was 20 wt.%. To recover energy from the hydrothermally treated sludge, a gasification technology was applied at 900 °C. The results showed that the product gas from hydrothermally treated sludge cake had a higher lower heating value (0.98 MJ/Nm3) and higher cold gas efficiency (5.8%). Furthermore, compared with raw sludge cake, less tar was generated during the gasification of hydrothermally treated sludge cake. The removal efficiency was 28.2%. Overall results depict that hydrothermally treated sewage sludge cake could be a good source of energy recovery via the gasification process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1442
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the Korea Institute of Energy technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE) of the Republic of Korea (No.20184030202240; 20173010092430).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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