The continuous, automated process is sized on the basis of the flow rate. Figure 7.49.1 shows a basic flow sheet and the components of the heat treatment process. This process draws the sludge (any type) from the storage tank through a grinder, reducing particle size and fiber lengths. Then, a feed pump pressurizes the sludge to approximately 250 psig and passes it through a water-to-sludge heat exchanger that elevates its temperature to approximately 300°F before it enters the reactor.

The process simultaneously injects steam from a boiler into the reactor with the incoming preheated sludge, raising sludge temperature to approximately 360°F. The sludge cooks in the reactor for about 30 min at the corresponding pressure of 180 to 200 psig and is then discharged through the cooling exchanger discharge valve to the decant thickener tank. The cooled sludge temperature is approximately 110°F.

For high pressure pumps, the triplex ram (a three-cylinder, single-acting displacement pump without rings) or progressive cavity-type (a precision screw conveyor pump,

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