A simulation model for settling tanks with varying cross-sectional area

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A quasi-one-dimensional model of the process of continuous sedimentation in clarifier-thickeners (settlers) with variable cross-sectional area is presented. The partial differential equation (PDE) model extends the settler model advanced by Bürger et al. (2013), which assumes a constant cross section. A reliable numerical method that handles the special features of the nonlinear PDE is presented along with an advantageous time-step condition for continuous and batch sedimentation under the condition of a variable cross-sectional area. Simulations of continuous sedimentation show the effect of change of cross-sectional area in the concentration inside the vessel and in the underflow. Simulations of batch settling in cones illustrate the versatility of the numerical scheme to include a vertex, where the area shrinks to zero.


External organisations
  • University of Concepción
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Computational Mathematics


  • Clarifier-thickener, continuous sedimentation, nonlinear conservation PDE, numerical method, secondary clarifier
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1270-1281
JournalChemical Engineering Communications
Issue number11
Early online date2017 Sep 5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 2
Publication categoryResearch