The influence of contact zone configuration on the flow structure in a dissolved air flotation pilot plant.

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The dissolved air flotation process is used in water and wastewater treatment. Among many parameters the fluid dynamics determine the capacity of the process. The contact zone is assumed to be important for the removal function, as it is believed to be the location for the aggregation of bubbles and flocs. This paper presents an experimental study on the flow structure in a contact zone of a DAF pilot tank and the influence of contact zone configuration. The flow structure in the contact zone was examined for different horizontal lengths of the zone and for different heights and inclinations of the shaft wall. The hydraulic surface loading was 11 m/h over the total tank surface area and the recycle rate was constant at 10% of the main flow. The examined hydraulic surface loading over the contact zone ranged from 40 to 98 m/h. Water velocities in the longitudinal, central section of the tank were measured with an acoustical Doppler velocimeter in a grid net for the different contact zone configurations, giving an insight into the flow structure. The result showed that the flow structure in the contact zone was characterised by a turbulent lower region and a plug-flow higher region. The hydraulic surface loading, a function of the length of the contact zone, seemingly determined the extension of the turbulent region. A higher hydraulic surface loading decreased the turbulent region while the lower loading increased it. A hydraulic surface loading of 65 m/h was suggested for design. It was not possible to determine the turbulent intensity quantitatively due to the measurement method. The height and inclination of the shaft wall did not seem to have a significant influence on the turbulent region. However, an increased height of the contact zone enhanced the higher, plug flow region and a recommended height of 0.81 m or higher for the recommended hydraulic surface loading was suggested when both mixing and plug-flow are desired. The separation zone was characterised by a stratified flow structure, mainly influenced by the cross-flow velocity that is a function of the distance between the shaft wall top and the water surface. A cross-flow velocity of 37m/h or higher resulted in a clearly defined stratification, believed to be crucial for an efficient separation of flocs. Finally, the extension of the lower, denser plug-flow region in the separation zone increased when the shaft wall height increased.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Engineering
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1585-1595
JournalWater Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch