Thermophile sludge digestion

Thermophile sludge digestion

anaerobic digester_diagramThe principle of this showcase is to explore the yields of thermophillic digestion of sludge from a waste water treatment plant, the operational effects and integration into an existing process.



The WWTP in Phoenix, KZN, operates at mesophilic sludge digestion installation on site and is facing increasing energy and sludge handling costs.

eThekwini Water and Sanitation therefore could benefit from the benefits of application of thermophilic sludge digestion and eventually to turn the current mesophilic sludge digestion process into a thermophilic sludge digestion process.


Sewage plantThe digestion of sludge and reclaiming of energy is common practice in the Netherlands.

Colsen International b.v. has developed optimal thermophilic digestion methodology that could benefit the South-African water boards during water treatment in current installations and allow them to operate these in an environmental and economic neutral mode.

After the proof of concept is delivered (a pilot project) this might result in a great opportunity to refurbish the current installation to a full scale thermophilic digestion plant after success of the pilot project.

A successful technology demonstration at the pilot location could serve as an excellent show case for further implementation in South-Africa and other Africa areas with similar climatologic and environmental/economic conditions.

Status & Feedback

The showcase is expected to start in the second half of 2014.


Phoenix waste water treatment works, eThekwini Water and Sanitation department, Durban.


Dhevan Govender

Senior Manager: Commercial and Business

eThekwini Water and Sanitation

Tel: +27 (0) 31 311 8689

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The aim of this showcase is to demonstrate the yields of thermophillic digestion on primary and waste activated sludge and its operational aspects.

A business model is envisaged for the conversion of current mesophillic digesters to thermophillic digesters.

Furthermore, the technology impact is addressed on the volumes and quality of digestate and effects on the effluent quality of the waste water treatment plant.


Training is anticipated to be available early 2015.


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