On constitutive functions for hindered settling velocity in 1-D settler models: Selection of appropriate model structure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Advanced 1-D models for Secondary Settling Tanks (SSTs) explicitly account for several phenomena that influence the settling process (such as hindered settling and compression settling). For each of these phenomena a valid mathematical expression needs to be selected and its parameters calibrated to obtain a model that can be used for operation and control. This is, however, a challenging task as these phenomena may occur simultaneously. Therefore, the presented work evaluates several available expressions for hindered settling based on long-term batch settling data. Specific attention is paid to the behaviour of these hindered settling functions in the compression region in order to evaluate how the modelling of sludge compression is influenced by the choice of a certain hindered settling function. The analysis shows that the exponential hindered settling forms, which are most commonly used in traditional SST models, not only account for hindered settling but partly lump other phenomena (compression) as well. This makes them unsuitable for advanced 1-D models that explicitly include each phenomenon in a modular way. A power-law function is shown to be more appropriate to describe the hindered settling velocity in advanced 1-D SST models.


  • Elena Torfs
  • Sophie Balemans
  • Florent Locatelli
  • Stefan Diehl
  • Raimund Bürger
  • Julien Laurent
  • Pierre François
  • Ingmar Nopens
External organisations
  • Ghent University
  • University of Strasbourg
  • University of Concepción
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Water Engineering


  • 1-D modelling, Batch settling test, Calibration, Compression settling, Secondary clarifier
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-47
Number of pages10
JournalWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 1
Publication categoryResearch