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The Neutralizer® is a two-stage chemical treatment system. Untreated biosolids, usually consisting of Waste Activated Sludge (WAS), travel through the Neutralizer® system where they are treated by a patented chemical injection system. The processing time is eight hours and the final product is a treated, virtually odor-free residual suitable for use as a commercial fertilizer.

 

The Neutralizer® Process

Step 1 – Sludge Delivery & Thickening

WAS Pumps feed sludge from the clarifier, typically at 1-2% solids, into the Neutralizer® Sludge Receiving & Polymer Addition Skid at a monitored and controlled rate. The polymer injection system adds polymer to the sludge to optimize thickening. The sludge and dilute polymer mixture is sent to the stir/flocculation tank on the Sludge Thickening Skid where Huber disk thickeners thicken the sludge to 4% solids. Thickened sludge is then sent to the sludge hopper where it accumulates for chemical treatment.

 

Step 2 – Neutralizer® Chlorine Dioxide Addition & Acidification

Sludge is pumped from the sludge hopper to the Sludge Processing Skid where chemical metering pumps deliver flow-controlled doses of sodium chlorite and sulfuric acid into BCR’s chlorine dioxide (ClO2) Generating System, a patented technology for onsite production of chlorine dioxide. The system then injects the chlorine dioxide into the thickened sludge stream and pumps the mixture into the Sludge Processing Tanks. The sludge is retained in the Sludge Processing Tanks for at least one hour.

 

Step 3 – Neutralizer® Sodium Nitrite Addition & pH Adjustment

In the second stage of chemical treatment, sulfuric acid (H2SO4) is pumped into the Sludge Processing Tanks, dropping the pH to an optimal level. Then, sodium nitrite (NaNO2) is added to the Sludge Processing Tanks for an additional six hours to ensure the required pathogen reduction for Class A/EQ and Volatile Solids Reduction (VSR) for Vector Attraction Reduction (VAR) are met. Prior to dewatering, sodium hydroxide (NaOH) is added to the disinfected sludge in to raise the pH of the final product, typically to a pH of 6.0 to meet the end user’s needs.

 

Step 4 – Dewatering & Phosphorus Removal

Neutralizer® treatment enhances dewaterability, resulting in reduced polymer consumption and higher total solids in the end product, which in turn leads to reduced operating and hauling costs. The Class A/EQ residuals are dewatered using standard technology such as a centrifuge, screw press, or belt press. Ferric sulfate (Fe2(SO4)3) is added to the disinfected sludge immediately prior to dewatering to aid in phosphorous removal. Phosphorous binds with the iron in the ferric sulfate and this iron phosphate is retained within the dewatered residuals, effectively removing phosphorus from the wastewater treatment facility.

 

Step 5 – End Product Management

Neutralizer® produces superior Class A/EQ residuals that allow for expanded disposition options based on their nutrient content and lack of foul odors. As part of our Whole Solution offering, BCR can assume long-term responsibility for the transportation and end product management of material treated at any Neutralizer® facility, eliminating client liability for end product management and disposition.

Neutralizer® Benefits

The Neutralizer® delivers numerous key advantages over traditional Class A and Class B biosolids management technologies. The benefits of the Neutralizer® system include:

Reduced capital costs: Neutralizer® requires substantially less upfront capital to implement compared to other Class A biosolids management options. The Neutralizer® system reduces infrastructure complexity by eliminating the need for digestion and sludge holding facilities.

Reduced operating costs: The Neutralizer® solution uses chemistry rather than energy-intensive biological or thermal processes to achieve Class A/EQ standards. The end result is a reduction in energy costs, polymer costs, and sludge disposition costs.

Reduced energy requirements: By eliminating the need for digestion and other energy-intensive systems, Neutralizer® installations typically experience substantial energy savings, often reducing energy consumption by 90% or greater. Energy savings translate to a reduction in the wastewater treatment plant’s carbon footprint.

Elimination of odors issues: Elimination of odors issues: Neutralizer® effectively eliminates odor issues beginning with onsite treatment and continuing through transportation and end product disposition. Neutralizer® chemical treatment eliminates odorous compounds by oxidizing sulfides, sulfates, and mercaptans.

Improved product quality: Eliminating digestion produces a more consistent end product and enhances nutrient retention in the biosolids. The Neutralizer® also enhances dewatering, resulting in a high quality, higher % solids Class A/EQ product. Eliminating odors from the biosolids increases the appeal of the product and increases disposition options.

Enhanced regulatory compliance: Neutralizer® simply and consistently meets U.S. EPA regulatory requirements for beneficial reuse of Class A/EQ biosolids in accordance with Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 503. Meeting Class A/EQ standards substantially expands the number of potential disposition options and creates the potential for producing a marketable, valuable end product that can be registered as a commercial fertilizer.

Neutralizer® Class A Residuals

The Neutralizer® produces a consistent, fertilizer grade residual that expands the number of viable end use options. Neutralizer® treated residuals meet Class A/EQ biosolids standards in accordance with the United States Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 503 through Alternative 6: Biosolids Treated in a Process Equivalent to a Process to Further Reduce Pathogens (PFRP). Neutralizer® meets Vector Attraction Reduction (VAR) requirements typically through Option 1: 38% Reduction in Volatile Solids Content, although VAR can also be achieved through other options. The residuals may be registered as a commercial fertilizer with the Department of Agriculture in various states.

By avoiding digestion, Neutralizer® residuals retain a higher nutrient content, making them a highly desirable beneficial reuse product. When applied as a soil amendment or fertilizer, the residuals provide an excellent source of nitrogen and organic materials. The pH of the residuals can be adjusted to meet client needs, expanding the number of viable disposition sites.

Neutralizer® treatment oxidizes sulfides, sulfates, and mercaptans, producing an end product free from foul odors. The odor-free nature of Neutralizer® residuals further increases the desirability of this Class A/EQ product and expands viable application sites to those in close proximity to residences. In addition, Neutralizer® residuals reduce phosphorus leaching, which poses a threat to ground or surface water. Neutralizer® residuals have an extremely low P index (measurement of phosphorous leachability).

Benefits of Neutralizer® Residuals

Neutralizer® residuals deliver numerous key advantages when compared to other Class A products produced through traditional management technologies:

Elimination of odor issues: Neutralizer® effectively eliminates odor issues associated with end product disposition. Neutralizer® residuals have a pleasant, earthy smell. Fertilizer application can take place in close proximity to residences without generating nuisance odors or odor complaints.

Expanded disposition options: Regulatory restrictions significantly limit land application of Class B material compared to the Class A/EQ residuals. Neutralizer® produces a pH-adjustable, fertilizer grade product that greatly expands the number of viable end use options which include fertilizer and soil amendment options.

Simplified regulatory compliance: BCR maintains open communication with the U.S. EPA and state environmental agencies to ensure our end products achieve current and future regulatory compliance.

Reduced nutrient loss: Light textured (sandy) soils possess a low cation exchange capacity (CEC), resulting in nutrient loss. Adding Neutralizer® residuals to the soil raises the CEC and enables the soil to better hold onto nutrients like potash and nitrogen which would otherwise leach out of the soil.

Improved plant survival and growth rates: Organic matter improves the aggregate strength of soils, making the soil more resistant to compaction, improving root penetration, and helping plants establish and sustain growth. Neutralizer® residuals add necessary organic material back to the soil.

Neutralizer® – Haines City, FloridaHaines City, FL
In 2012, Haines City, Florida, installed BCR’s Neutralizer® system at its 3 MGD wastewater treatment plant to upgrade from Class B biosolids to a Class A/EQ fertilizer product. Following installation of the Neutralizer® solution, Haines City has experienced significant cost savings and expanded beneficial reuse options for its fertilizer product.
Background
In 2012, the Haines City wastewater treatment plant, serving the City’s businesses and 20,000 residents, upgraded from its previous aerobic digestion operations to BCR’s Neutralizer® system. Previously, the plant treated secondary sludge through aerobic digestion and subsequently hauled the Class B residuals to a landfill or land application site. Haines City faced several challenges, including escalating energy costs, odor issues, digester capacity issues, and stringent environmental regulations. In addition, the City faced limited financial resources and a lack of capital for process enhancements. After an evaluation process, Haines City installed the Neutralizer® system to address these challenges.
The Neutralizer® Solution
Haines City Neutralizer System Neutralizer® is BCR’s patented Class A/EQ residuals treatment solution. This two-stage chemical system treats Waste Activated Sludge (WAS) and produces Class A/EQ residuals in a matter of hours. Neutralizer® is approved by the U.S. EPA as a Process to Further Reduce Pathogens (PFRP). Neutralizer® has become the most installed Class A/EQ solution in Florida because it is simple, safe, environmentally responsible, and cost effective for wastewater treatment plants of almost any size.
Haines City Project Summary
BCR Provided Haines City with a design-build Neutralizer® biosolids treatment solution to upgrade to Class A/EQ residuals. The solution consisted of a dual-train Neutralizer® system with a centrifuge for sludge dewatering. Installation of the Neutralizer® system was completed in late 2011, and full-scale operations began in early 2012.
  • Haines City’s residuals now meet Class A/EQ standards.
  • Treated residuals can be registered as a commercial fertilizer with the Florida Department of Agriculture.
  • The City avoided capital expenditures of $2.75 million for digester rehabilitation and dewatering equipment.
  • Neutralizer® reduced total annual biosolids treatment and disposition costs by around $133,000 per year over the next 20 years. This number includes costs for the Neutralizer® equipment purchase.
  • The City reduced energy costs for biosolids treatment by around 97% compared to previous aerobic digestion operations.
  • Odors at Haines City’s WWTP have been substantially reduced. The facility is virtually odor free.
Through value engineering, BCR was able to deliver a solution that met Haines City’s objective of producing a Class A/EQ product while meeting the City’s financial goals.
Neutralizer® Residuals
After installing the Neutralizer® system, Haines City upgraded its end product from Class B biosolids to a Class A/EQ fertilizer. Haines City is in the process of registering its nutrient-rich Neutralizer® residuals as a commercial fertilizer with the Florida Department of Agriculture. Residuals are free from foul odors, and the pH can be adjusted to suit the needs of the fertilizer customers. Neutralizer® residuals meet the strict nutrient and pollutant limits of the State of Florida and have an extremely low Phosphorus Source Coefficient (a measurement of phosphorus leachability). In a study performed by Penn State University, the Phosphorus Source Coefficient of Neutralizer® residuals was 0.1.
Haines City Cost Savings
Haines City Operating & Project Cost Benefit BCR conducted an analysis of the total project costs of Haines City’s Neutralizer® system. The analysis demonstrated an estimated cumulative operating cost savings of $4.8 million over the initial 20-year project period. Net savings to the City, including financing costs for the Neutralizer® system and avoided capital costs for digester upgrades, are estimated at $2.8 million over the 20-year period. This cost savings translates to a $1.8 million present value economic benefit based on a 20-year Net Present Value.
Haines City Cost Savings
Haines City Annual Energy Cost Benefit Projected energy costs at Haines City dropped 97%, from an average approximately $333,000 per year to approximately $9,000 per year with Neutralizer®. The Neutralizer® system relies on chemistry rather than on energy-intensive treatment with digesters, dryers, incinerators, or gasifiers. The entire process is designed using energy efficient equipment to minimize electrical consumption. Process automation maximizes energy efficiency every time the system operates.
Haines City Neutralizer® Media Coverage
The Haines City Neutralizer® project was supported by the media and the local community. See the following links to media coverage and talks given at the facility’s grand opening ceremony:
  • Better Recipe – Treatment Plant Operator Magazine, January 2013
  • Wastewater Plant Saves Money – NewsChief, October 2012
  • Haines City Wastewater Facility Uses Automated Process And is Odorless – The Ledger, May 2013
  • Haines City Neutralizer® Grand Opening – Pamala Vazquez, FDEP
  • Haines City Neutralizer® Grand Opening – Aaron Zahn, BCR
Neutralizer® – Clay County Utility Authority, FloridaClay County, FL
The Clay County Utility Authority (CCUA) installed Neutralizer® systems at each of its four wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) between 2006 and 2010. Neutralizer® is BCR’s patented Class A residuals treatment system. This two-stage chemical system treats Waste Activated Sludge (WAS) and produces Class A residuals in a matter of hours.
Background
Clay County Utility Authority (CCUA) owns four regional WWTPs in the Jacksonville, Florida area. CCUA’s plants were treating secondary sludge using aerobic digestion and subsequently hauling the Class B residuals either to land application or landfill. In an effort to address escalating energy costs, odor issues, hauling and disposal costs, and stringent environmental regulations, CCUA sought out a Class A biosolids treatment solution at each of its four WWTPs. In 2006, CCUA commissioned a comprehensive engineering study, conducted by Mittauer & Associates, Inc., to evaluate the initial capital, operational, and maintenance costs alongiside qualitative benefits for commonly used Class A and Class B biosolids treatment options.
The Neutralizer® Solution
CCUA Neutralizer<sup>®<sup> Control System The study by Mittauer & Associates evaluated BCR’s Neutralizer® solution alongside dryer systems, lime stabilization, anaerobic digestion, and Class B aerobic digestion. Based on the study, CCUA concluded that the Neutralizer® system represented the most economical and environmentally responsible option. The Neutralizer® system is a simple two-stage chemical process that safely meets pathogen and vector attraction requirements as defined by the CFR 40 Part 503. Neutralizer® is approved by the U.S. EPA as a Process to Further Reduce Pathogens (PFRP). The system requires a minimal footprint and can be easily integrated into a WWTPs existing infrastructure. Every Neutralizer® system is outfitted with a control system and monitoring devices to record process parameters and ensure consistent, repeatable Class A biosolids treatment.
CCUA Neutralizer® Project Summary
CCUA installed Neutralizer® systems at each of its four WWTPs, ranging from 2 MGD to 5 MGD average daily flow. The first was installed in 2006. The fourth in 2010. Following installation of the fourth Neutralizer®, 100% of CCUA’s biosolids met Class A/EQ standards as defined by the CFR 40 Part 503. CCUA’s residuals are registered as a commercial fertilizer with the Florida Department of Agriculture and distributed to local users. The Neutralizer® solution provided multiple advantages over CCUA’s previous residuals treatment system, including:
  • A 43% reduction in annual operating costs for biosolids treatment and disposition
  • A 92% decrease in energy costs associated with biosolids treatment
  • Substantially improved odor control
In addition, by avoiding digestion, Neutralizer® enhanced CCUA’s nutrient removal, allowing the Authority to meet strict new standards for nutrient discharge.
Neutralizer® Residuals
Neutralizer® treated biosolids are a nutrient rich fertilizer product registered as a commercial fertilizer with the Florida Department of Agriculture. Residuals are odor-free, and the pH can be adjusted to suit client needs. Neutralizer® residuals have an extremely low P index (a measurement of phosphorous leachability). In a study performed by Penn State University, the Phosphorous Source Coefficient of Neutralizer® residuals was 0.1.
Neutralizer® Operating Performance
CCUA 2009 Annual Biosolids Management Costs BCR designed the Neutralizer® systems at CCUA to be highly automated and simple to operate. Each Neutralizer® system is operated and monitored from a single control panel. This reduction in complexity led to reduced biosolids management operating costs at CCUA. In 2009, CCUA conducted an internal analysis of the Neutralizer’s® annual operating cost compared to actual annual operating costs of digestion and hauling. The chart to the right depicts the annual operating cost savings associated with the Neutralizer® systems at three of CCUA’s WWTPs. The Neutralizer® systems at CCUA have over 100,000 hours of operating time, reliably treating many millions of pounds of biosolids with consistent results.
Neutralizer® Energy Performance
CCUA 2009 Annual Energy Costs BCR’s Neutralizer® systems rely on chemistry rather than on energy-intensive treatment with digesters, dryers, incinerators, or gasifiers. The entire Neutralizer® process was designed using energy efficient equipment to minimize electrical consumption. The complete Neutralizer® system requires 90-95% less energy than other Class A biosolids treatment options. In 2009, CCUA conducted an internal energy audit at three of their WWTPs to analyze the energy cost savings of their Neutralizer® systems compared to their previous aerobic digestion process. The chart to the right depicts CCUA’s actual energy cost savings associated with the operation of their Neutralizer® systems.
Neutralizer® – Pembroke Pines, FLPembroke Pines, FL

In June 2014, after an extensive RFP and competitive evaluation process, the Pembroke Pines City Commission approved a contract with BCR for advanced biosolids treatment and dewatering services. The design-build project consists of the installation of a 3-train Neutralizer® system to process the City’s biosolids and two centrifuges to improve dewatering efficiency. The Neutralizer® and dewatering solution will improve operational flexibility at the plant, reduce odor issues, simplify operating standards and enhance regulatory compliance by producing reusable slow release organic soil amendments. In addition, the solution will reduce overall operating costs by approximately $200,000 annually.

The Pembroke Pines Neutralizer® facility will process undigested Waste Activated Sludge (WAS) from the City’s wastewater treatment plant. WAS from the City’s package plant clarifiers is will be processed through the Neutralizer® facility, dewatered, and then beneficially reused as a high-quality fertilizer product. The facility was designed and permitted by BCR. The project is scheduled for phased construction beginning in September 2014 with a targeted completion date of September 2015. As part of the process improvements at Pembroke Pines, BCR will install a SCADA system that provides central control, monitoring, and real-time facility performance reporting. The system includes a user-friendly, logically- structured operator interface for comprehensive monitoring and control of the Neutralizer® process.

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