Sludge is often a problem in wastewater treatment facilities. It can create plugging and fouling problems that ordinary solutions just can’t handle. Komax has developed many technologies to help wastewater plants deal with the sludge issue effectively, but the Netherlands has actually developed one Komax really hadn’t considered – using that sludge to pave bicycle paths.
The Netherlands boasts nearly 35,000 kilometers of bicycle paths across the country, and just last year, a one kilometer stretch of those paths was paved with recycled toilet paper pulled from a wastewater plant. The roadways there are paved with open-graded asphalt friction course, which requires cellulose to thicken it. In Dutch wastewater plants, toilet paper is filtered out with other solids, and it’s that cellulose that was extracted by an industrial sieve, then cleaned, sterilized, bleached, and dried to be added to the asphalt. The result is amazing, too. Now, even the city of Amsterdam is hoping to utlize the process for its roadways as they need to be paved.
Unfortunately, though, there is a real downside. Cellulose makes up just five percent of the asphalt mixture, and there’s just not enough of it to go around to handle every project in the country. Maybe some day, though, this process will help spur other developments.
Until then, Komax will be here, working to develop the technology to keep sludge mixtures from fouling up wastewater treatment process. To learn more about the Komax solution, contact us today.