Improving lamella clarifiers cleaning performance through CFD simulation
Element Digital Engineering was asked to assess if a novel cleaning system for a lamella clarifier in a wastewater treatment plant would be successful. The system aims to use gas sparging to periodically clean the plates of residual matter, improving the clarifier’s efficiency and avoiding blockages.
A Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model was created to simulate the cleaning processes. The multi-phase flow of air bubbles and entrained water was assessed to understand if there was an even dispersal through the channels and on all lamella clarifier surfaces as well as sufficient shear at the walls to dislodge any solids on the surfaces.
The simulation of the current design for the cleaning system predicted uneven dispersion of the air throughout the channels. The pattern of flow was also different to that anticipated. However, Element Digital Engineering was able to inform the customer that sufficient shear was still produced that would effectively clean the lamella clarifier and then provide guidance in developing and improving the design of the automatic cleaning system.
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