Innovative model-based design and operational optimization at Dissolved Air Flotation.

01 September 2019 → 31 August 2021
European funding: framework programme
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Environmental engineering design
sewage sustainability
Other information
Project description

Water and resources recovery from sewage stand at the foreground of circular economy and technological innovation in the wastewater industry 4.0. The approach of up-concentration of municipal effluent upon arrival at the wastewater treatment facilities followed by anaerobic digestion allows closing cycles and is an alternative solution to conventional activated sludge processes, which have little or no reuse. Dissolved air flotation (DAF) has great potential as an up-concentration process, a first priority of the above-mentioned combo system. To bring the technology readiness level of DAF for up-concentration of sewage and A-sludge to a higher level to make it ready for the market, the knowledge gap in fluid mechanisms of flocculation and hydraulic performance in DAF will be addressed based on the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling and integrated model framework of CFD and PBM (population balance model) and XDLVO (extended Derjaguin- Laudau- Verwey- Overbeek) forces, a totally complete bottom-up approach. Extensive validation experiments of fluid flow velocity, bubble and floc property (density, size distribution, interfacial force, etc.) and residence time distribution in bench- and pilot-scale DAF will be carried out together with the modeling work to build a simulation platform for reliable hydrodynamic prediction in DAF. Based on this platform, optimization of DAF will be carried out in terms of design and operation. A major reduction in the pretreatment flocculation times and an increase of floc stability will be achieved by optimizing contact zone, flocculator pipes and chemical dosage in sewage up-concentration. A major increase in the hydraulic loadings with flow pattern optimization will be pursued by modifying the configuration of contact and separation zone and by varying operations.

Role of Ghent University
Ghent University is the beneficiary partner in this project. The BIOMATH group of Ghent University is hosting a postdoctoral research fellow new to Europe and is providing him with new skills for population balance modeling among others. Other partner organisations take part in the project by providing secondments and allowing access to demonstration set-ups (PUREBLUE®), implementation of models (AM-TEAM®), etc.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the authority can be held responsible for them.