System hydrodynamics to reduce fouling of air-sparged immersed flat-sheet microfiltration membranes

Hamann, Martin Louis (2010-12)

Thesis (MScEng (Process Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Immersed membrane systems hold many operational and environmental advantages in biological treatment of wastewater. However, immersed membrane filtration have only found application in niche markets to date because of higher capital and operating costs associated with membrane fouling. But with capital costs on the decline as membranes become less expensive, immersed membrane systems are increasingly considered as an attractive alternative to conventional treatment processes. Operating costs remain high however, since energy intensive techniques such as air-sparging are required to limit membrane fouling. Improving the air-scouring efficiency of air-sparged immersed membranes can significantly reduce operating costs and unlock the immersed membrane system technology to wider application. The aim of this study was to identify factors that will improve air-scouring efficiency in order to produce guidelines that will help in the development of an immersed microfiltration membrane system with a resulting lower operating cost. Although, the research was done on a flat-sheet microfiltration membrane, the guidelines obtained can be used for the development of any immersed microfiltration membrane arrangement. An airlift reactor set-up was chosen for this study. Six system hydrodynamic factors were evaluated in a factorial design to determine their effects on the cross-flow velocity profile. They were the downcomer area to riser area ratio, top clearance distance, bottom clearance distance, aeration intensity, water depth and air sparger location. It was found that the air-scouring efficiency was increased by generating a cross-flow velocity profile with increased magnitude and uniformity, but absolute uniformity of the cross-flow velocity profile was found to be a prerequisite for optimisation of air-scouring efficiency. Downcomer area to riser area ratio was found to be 99.9% significant in determining the magnitude of the cross-flow velocity profile. Two models were developed to respectively predict the relative magnitude and uniformity of the cross-flow velocity profile. By using these two models, a methodology was developed to design an airlift reactor set-up that would produce system hydrodynamics with an improved air-scouring efficiency.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gesonke membraanstelsels beskik oor talle bedryfs- en omgewingsvoordele in biologiese behandeling van afvalwater. Maar weens die hoër kapitaal- en bedryfskostes wat gepaardgaan met membraanbevuiling, kon gesonke membraanstelsels tot op hede nog net toepassing in nismarkte vind. Maar soos kapitaalkoste daal met al hoe goedkoper membrane beskikbaar, word gesonke membraanstelsels al hoe aanlokliker as ‘n alternatief vir konvensionele behandelingsprosesse. Bedryfskostes bly egter hoog aangesien energie-intensiewe tegnieke soos lugborreling benodig word om membraanbevuiling te vertraag. Deur die effektiwiteit van die skropaksie wat lugborreling aan gesonke membrane bied te verbeter, kan ‘n beduidende besparing in bedryfskostes teweeggebring word om sodoende die uitgebreide toepassing van gesonke membraanstelsel tegnologie moontlik te maak. Hierdie studie het ten doel gehad die identifisering van faktore wat lugskropaksie effektiwiteit kan verbeter en om riglyne op te stel vir die ontwikkeling van ‘n gesonke mikrofiltrasie membraanstelsel met gevolglik laer bedryfskostes. Alhoewel hierdie navorsing ‘n plat-blad mikrofiltrasie membraan gebruik het, kan die riglyne steeds vir enige gesonke mikrofiltrasie membraanuitleg gebruik word. Daar is besluit op ‘n lugligter-reaktor opstelling vir hierdie studie. Ses stelselhidrodinamika faktore is geëvalueer in ‘n faktoriale ontwerp om hul effekte op die kruisvloei snelheidsprofiel te bepaal. Hulle was die afvloei-area tot opvloei-area verhouding, topruimte-afstand, bodemruimte-afstand, belugtingsintensiteit, waterdiepte en belugterligging. Daar is bevind dat die lugskropaksie effektiwiteit verhoog word wanneer ‘n kruisvloei snelheidsprofiel geskep word met ‘n verhoogde grootte en gelykvormigheid, maar die absolute gelykvormigheid van die kruisvloei snelheidsprofiel is gevind om ‘n voorvereiste te wees vir optimale effektiwiteit. Afvloei-area tot opvloei-area verhouding is gevind om 99.9% beduidend te wees in die bepaling van die snelheidsprofiel se grootte. Twee modelle is ontwikkel om afsonderlik die relatiewe grootte en gelykvormigheid van die kruisvloei snelheidsprofiel te voorspel. Die modelle is in ‘n metodologie vervat vir die ontwerp van ‘n lugligter opstelling met stelselhidrodinamika wat verbeterde lugskropaksie effektiwiteit sal skep.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5206
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