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Aeration and Stripping

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Aeration in the treatment of water is a process that is used for either of two purposes: either to add oxygen (or possibly another gas) to water (adsorption) or to remove an unwanted gas from water (desorption or stripping). It follows that aeration is most likely to be encountered in the treatment of ground waters. Aeration can be carried out in a variety of ways. The most appropriate method or methods depends much on the purpose.

Standard texts should be referred to (for the time being) for the theory of aeration and stripping (Refs?).  The process depends on the rate of gas transfer across the air-water (or water-air) interface and this is governed by the principle of partial pressures (Link?) and relative solubility of the gas of interest in water. Additionally, solubility is dependent on water temperature. The relative effectiveness of the transfer mechanism is usually expressed in terms of the ‘mass transfer coefficient’ (Link?). The application of cascades and packing can be expressed in terms of ‘transfer units’ and the height of transfer units (HTUs) (Link?). In the simple removal of a gas from water by air (e.g. carbon dioxide), one transfer unit equates to about 60% removal.

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