Student research examines the quality of drinking water at a lower cost

Research shows that heterogeneous mixing is the usual case, which means it will be both cost effective and lead to less potential waste.

One study used computer simulations along with experimental data to examine fluid dynamics in sweetening reactors.

This study is published in the journal Chemical Engineering Sciences: X, Phys.org reported.

Most water softening processes use a specific type of softening reactor, known as liquid-solid fluidized bed (LSF) reactors. According to a team that included researchers from the University of Eindhoven, the University of Delft, Queen Mary, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences and the water cycle company Waternet, these beds Rather, softening reactor granules have a heterogeneous structure with local voids and instabilities, Phys.org reported.

It was originally believed that such reactors exhibit homogeneous behavior.

According to the researchers, these findings could improve drinking water softening processes, leading to the production of high-quality softened drinking water at lower cost and with reduced CO2 emissions, Phys.org reported.

This research shows that heterogeneous mixing is the usual case, which means that it will be both cost effective and lead to less potential waste.

Two Queen Mary undergraduate chemical engineering students, Jamila Rahman and Phoebe Berhanu, are co-authors of the article. These students carried out the experiments as part of their industrial internship year at Waternet Amsterdam.

The industrial internship allowed the two to spend time working with other interns, testing the flow and particle behavior of several types of particles, noting any differences in visible void patterns. Berhanu has worked on rapid sand filtration and particle operation within Waternet and the UK. Rahman focused on using ImageJ to understand particle size and its involvement in its fluidization behavior.

Other findings of the study include:

  • Liquid-solid fluidization experiments show open spaces at low velocity;
  • Heterogeneous particle-fluid patterns are detected at higher fluid velocities;
  • CFD-DEM simulations show good agreement with experimental observations; And
  • Numerical simulations confirm the formation of local voids and instabilities.

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