Thomas Herlihy

Thomas Herlihy

Thomas Herlihy

WeCare Denali | "Design, Operational and Management Considerations in Large-Scale Systems Using Active Aeration"

Geneseo, NY |

USCC Member

Tom has over 35 years, leading the design, permitting and operations of large-scale organic waste management projects. His role in these projects has varied from general laborer, through Operations Manager to Lead Design Engineer. He holds a Master’s degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and a Bachelor’s in Physics. His work in the composting field has involved (A) the development of composting technologies, (B) the managing of daily operations and maintenance at large facilities, as well as (C) extensive R&D into the use of compost products in production agriculture. He has authored and been awarded nearly 20 peer reviewed research projects, with budgets totaling over $3M, that have investigated novel composting systems as well as compost use in horticultural production. He is currently the Senior Technical Manager for WeCare Denali working with multiple composting technologies processing a variety of feedstocks under very different climate conditions.

Session Code: A3

Session Name: Understanding Aeration

Session Time: Wed, January 27 12-1:15 PM EST

Session Description: Interest in aerated composting systems has grown, especially in areas needing tighter controls of emissions. Denali Water operates different systems at their facilities, so is in an excellent position to provide a comparison among them. Then hear research into the pros and cons of high and low speed aeration floors

Presentation Title: Design, Operational and Management Considerations in Large-Scale Systems Using Active Aeration

Presentation Description: Efficient composting requires supplying and maintaining sufficient oxygen levels across the full profile within a processing pile and throughout the period of high microbial activity (active composting phase). The presentation will discuss design aspects of several industry standard aeration systems as well as the operation and maintenance issues associated with these same systems. Specific case study will be made of three (3) large-scale facilities operated by the company that are based on (A) aerated static piles, under positive pressure, (B) aerated agitated piles under alternating positive and negative pressure, and (C) In-vessel, aerated agitated piles under positive aeration. The talk will review aspects of the aeration systems in place at the three facilities from both a concept/design perspective as well as reviewing the lessons learned from the daily operation and maintenance of this key subsystem in the composting process. Operational experience with the aeration systems will be shared from the start-up/commissioning phase through retrofits and rehabilitation of systems, some of which have operated for over 20 years. Maintenance issues and procedures will be discussed that review the difference in aeration performance between the various facilities’ feedstocks (biosolids, foodwaste and greenwaste) as well as geographical differences (facilities are located in the arid Southwest, temperate Northeast, and tropical Southeast USA).