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Sludge Management Software Set For World Stage

Sludge Management Software Set For World Stage

From the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology For immediate release


A Massey University student's new computer program is being included in international design software for wastewater plants. Barry Fryer wrote the software to calculate how much heat was generated by waste sludge breaking down in a treatment tank. He did so as part of a project with Waste Solutions Ltd, a Dunedin environmental consulting and engineering company. In the relatively new treatment process similar to composting, air is blown into the sludge as bacteria breaks it down and produces heat. The sludge gets hot, killing germs and reducing health risks. The treated sludge can be used as a fertiliser or soil conditioner. "Barry's project was important work," Waste Solutions process development manager Tico Cohen says. "The process of controlling the supply of air is fairly complicated because the amount of air has to be just right during the different stages of the process. "The software gives the operator greater control of the process so the job can be done quickly and efficiently. It can also be used for designers to determine the correct size and shape of the treatment tanks." Dr Cohen says Waste Solutions is negotiating to include the software in a partnership with a Canadian firm that sells computer programs to companies that design wastewater treatment plants all over the world. Mr Fryer's project was supported by the Graduates in Industry Fellowship (GRIF) scheme of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. GRIF students do research projects with companies for their degrees. The students boost their skills and the companies benefit by gaining access to expertise in tertiary institutions and research institutes. Mr Fryer, who completed a Master of Technology degree with his project, says that studying waste disposal and the environment was a new field for him, but he says looking for simple ways of doing things helped. Mr Fryer now works for Tranz Rail Ltd in Wellington as a locomotive fleet engineer. -ends-

Contact: * Barry Fryer, C/- Tranz Rail, Wellington. Ph: (04) 498-3000, ext 44838. Fax: (04) 498-3075. * Dr Tico Cohen, Waste Solutions, Ltd, 1st Floor, John Wickliffe House, 265-269 Princes St, Dunedin. Ph: (03) 477-2375. Fax: (04) 479-2249. Email: * Philip Mowles, Technology New Zealand at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, Ph: (04) 498-7845 or 025 815-426. Website:

Prepared on behalf of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology by ID Communications. Contact: Ian Carson (04) 477-2525,

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