Interpreting hydrodynamic behaviour by the model of stirred tanks in series with exchanged zones: preliminary study in lab-scale trickling filters

Abstract : In trickling filters for wastewater treatment, hydrodynamic behaviour is affected by the growth of biofilm on the porous medium. Therefore, modelling hydrodynamic behaviour is necessary and efficient to predict the biodegradation of pollutants. In this study, laboratory-scale trickling filters were filled with two different porous media (glass beads and plastic rings) and were fed by a synthetic substrate in batch mode. Total organic carbon (TOC) of the effluent was measured and retention time distribution (RTD) was determined by injecting NaCl. Results showed that medium had no significant effect on TOC removal rate (around 80% and 60% respectively for batch time of seven and two days). However, regarding the hydrodynamic behaviour, the effective volume ratio and hydraulic efficiency in the glass beads bed increased remarkably from 28% and 18% to 80% and 70%, respectively, with the reduction of dispersion coefficient (from 4.55 to 1.53). Moreover, the short batch time accelerated this change. Conversely, no variation of hydrodynamic behaviour in plastic rings bed was evident. Along with the feeding of synthetic substrate, biofilm concentration ranged from 1.5 to 10.1 g/L in the glass beads reactor and it achieved around 2.8 g/L in the plastic rings reactor. Hydrodynamic modelling indicated that the model of stirred tanks in series with exchanged zones fitted the experimental results well. These gave values of mobile and immobile volumes of 51 mL and 17 mL, respectively, in the glass beads filter and 25 mL and 15 mL, respectively, in the plastic rings filter.
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Ming Zeng, Audrey Soric, Jean-Henry Ferrasse, Nicolas Roche. Interpreting hydrodynamic behaviour by the model of stirred tanks in series with exchanged zones: preliminary study in lab-scale trickling filters. Environmental Technology, Taylor & Francis: STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Titles, 2013, 34 (18), pp.2571-2578. ⟨10.1080/09593330.2013.781199⟩. ⟨hal-00978807⟩

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