IWA Publishing

The laminar/turbulent transition in a sludge pipeline

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Globally, wastewater treatment plants are under pressure to handle high concentration sludge in a sludge treatment line. Unawareness of the non-Newtonian behaviour of the thickened sludge has the potential to cause unexpected problems when the fluid behaviour changes from turbulent to laminar flow. In this study, sludge apparent viscosity was plotted as a function of total suspended solids concentration (TSS) and shear rate. Then, the transition velocity based on several predictive models in the literature was determined. This analysis provides a practical basis for the prediction of the pipe flow behaviour of thickened sludge in troubleshooting and engineering design.

Keywords: high concentration sludge, laminar flow, non-Newtonian fluids, transport processes, turbulence, viscoplastic

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