Reuse of water treatment residuals from lime softening, Part I: Applications for the reuse of lime sludge from water softening

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Baker, Rob
Jones, Christopher
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White, David
van Leeuwen, Johannes
Professor Emeritus
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Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

The Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering seeks to apply knowledge of the laws, forces, and materials of nature to the construction, planning, design, and maintenance of public and private facilities. The Civil Engineering option focuses on transportation systems, bridges, roads, water systems and dams, pollution control, etc. The Construction Engineering option focuses on construction project engineering, design, management, etc.

The Department of Civil Engineering was founded in 1889. In 1987 it changed its name to the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering. In 2003 it changed its name to the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering.

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  • Department of Civil Engineering (1889-1987)
  • Department of Civil and Construction Engineering (1987-2003)
  • Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering (2003–present)

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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Lime sludge, an inert material mostly composed of calcium carbonate, is the result of softening hard water before distribution as drinking water. A large city such as Des Moines, Iowa, produces about 32 000 tons of lime sludge (dry-weight basis) annually. This is about half of the lime sludge produced in Iowa per year in eight different cities, and these cities currently have 371 800 tons (dry-weight basis) stockpiled. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources directed those cities using lime softening in drinking-water treatment to stop digging new lagoons to dispose of lime sludge. The situation in surrounding Midwestern states is similar, and there will be millions of tons of lime sludge in stockpiles. Five Iowa water-treatment plants, all producers of lime sludge, funded the research. The research goal was to find useful and economical alternatives for the disposal of lime sludge. Feasibility studies tested the efficacy of using lime sludge in cement production, power-plant SOx control, dust control on gravel roads, wastewater neutralization, and infill materials for road construction. All the potential applications were demonstrated to be at least feasible, except for dust control. Fill material from admixture with fly ash showed the most promise as a bulk, if variable, demand application.


This is an article from Land Contamination & Reclamation 18 (2011): 393, doi:10.2462/09670513.1012. Posted with permission.

Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2011