The Slow Boat from China Arrives at Piscataway WRRF

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Many may have heard the expression “a slow boat to China,” usually referring to the longest trip one could ever imagine. Well, the trip from China to the Piscataway WRRF WSSC construction site was definitely long, in part due to COVID-19 and supply chain issues encountered over the past few years.

A key component of the thermal hydrolysis process (THP), the cooling heat exchangers (CHEX), are tube-style heat exchangers that lower the sludge temperature leaving the thermal hydrolysis process from 194°F to 100°F prior to arrival at the anaerobic digestion tanks.

These particular units were manufactured with specialty superalloy piping, sourced out of China, to prevent microbial induced corrosion. The PC team released the units for fabrication in December 2020 and diligently tracked their fabrication and delivery to the project site. On Monday, the long journey officially ended. After a trip across the Pacific to Seattle and then across the country to Maryland, the equipment was delicately set on the waiting concrete pads.

With the CHEX units, each weighing nearly 25,000 pounds, now set in their final position, work will proceed on the UV and Odor Control Facility as well as piping interconnecting the THP, the CHEX units, and the anaerobic digesters.