Beneficial Uses of Sludge

This PDA supported a study on the beneficial uses of sludge in Wuhan City.

Report Card

Completed in June 2009, this PDA

  • Determined at least 2 commercial products that can be generated from sludge:
    • As hydrolyzed protein liquid, which can be transformed into protein firefighting powder
    • As hydrolyzed biosolids, which can be directly used in urban gardening and landscaping
  • Assessed the financial viability and environmental sustainability of these uses of sludge through an end-user survey and market study
  • Developed 100% use of Wuhan City’s surplus sludge

Read the Final Report. [ PDF ]


Wuhan City in Hubei province produces some 500 tons of sludge daily that are transported to landfills or incinerated. According to the Municipal Urban Development Master Plan, landfills would close in the coming years and sludge disposal would become a major issue. Sustainable solutions for disposing the surplus of sludge are needed.

This PDA replicated a successful bench-scale study of the Wuhan Urban Drainage Development Co., Ltd on reducing the water content of sludge. It determined the beneficial uses of biosolids from sludge, including as fertilizer and soil replacement, and the appropriate technologies for sludge disposal. It also provided support and technical justification for the preparation of the 3rd phase (dealing with solid waste and sludge management) of a series of ADB water projects in Wuhan. The first phase focused on wastewater management and water quality modeling while the 2nd phase dealt with wastewater and stormwater management.

Expected Outcome

  • Beneficial uses of sludge determined
  • Financial viability and environmental sustainability assessed

Project Details

Project site Wuhan City, Hubei province, People's Republic of China
Cost US$ 70,000 (US$50,000 PDA Grant and US$20,000 Government Counterpart)
Status Completed
Approval date May 2008
Completion date June 2009
Category Urban services
ADB officer Wang Jianguo
Partner Wuhan Urban Drainage Development Company