A review of sludge-to-energy recovery methods

Jumoke Oladejo, Kaiqi Shi, Xiang Luo, Gang Yang, Tao Wu

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

204 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing volume of sewage sludge from wastewater treatment facilities is becoming a prominent concern globally. The disposal of this sludge is particularly challenging and poses severe environmental hazards due to the high content of organic, toxic and heavy metal pollutants among its constituents. This study presents a simple review of four sewage to energy recovery routes (anaerobic digestion, combustion, pyrolysis and gasification) with emphasis on recent developments in research, as well as benefits and limitations of the technology for ensuring cost and environmentally viable sewage to energy pathway. This study focusses on the review of various commercially viable sludge conversion processes and technologies used for energy recovery from sewage sludge. This was done via in-depth process descriptions gathered from literatures and simplified schematic depiction of such energy recovery processes when utilised for sludge. Specifically, the impact of fuel properties and its effect on the recovery process were discussed to indicate the current challenges and recent scientific research undertaken to resolve these challenges and improve the operational, environmental and cost competitiveness of these technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number60
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Combustion
  • Gasification
  • Pyrolysis
  • Sewage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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