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Development of a flocculation sub-model for a 3-D CFD model based on rectangular settling tanks


To assess performance and evaluate alternatives to improve the efficiency of rectangular Gould II type final settling tanks (FSTs), New York City Department of Environmental Protection and City College of NY developed a 3D computer model depicting the actual structural configuration of the tanks and the current and proposed hydraulic and solids loading rates. Fluent 6.3.26™ was the base platform for the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model, for which sub-models of the SS settling characteristics, turbulence, flocculation and rheology were incorporated. This was supplemented by field and bench scale experiments to quantify the coefficients integral to the sub-models. The 3D model developed can be used to consider different baffle arrangements, sludge withdrawal mechanisms and loading alternatives to the FSTs. Flocculation in the front half of the rectangular tank especially in the region before and after the inlet baffle is one of the vital parameters that influences the capture efficiency of SS. Flocculation could be further improved by capturing medium and small size particles by creating an additional zone with an in-tank baffle. This was one of the methods that was adopted in optimizing the performance of the tank where the CCNY 3D CFD model was used to locate the in-tank baffle position. This paper describes the development of the flocculation sub-model and the relationship of the flocculation coefficients in the known Parker equation to the initial mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) concentration X0. A new modified equation is proposed removing the dependency of the breakup coefficient to the initial value of X0 based on preliminary data using normal and low concentration mixed liquor suspended solids values in flocculation experiments performed.

Keywords: CFD modeling, Final Settlings Tanks (FSTs), flocculation

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