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Numerical Investigation of the Effects of Reactor Configuration on the Efficacy of Microbial Inactivation

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The efficacy of disinfection processes in water purification systems is governed by several key factors including reactor hydraulics, disinfectant chemistry and microbial inactivation kinetics. The objective of this work was to develop computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models to predict flow structure, mass transport, chlorine decay and microbial inactivation in a continuous flow reactor. The CFD models were also used to evaluate disinfection efficiency in alternative reactor designs. The CFD reactor analysis demonstrates that disinfection efficiency is affected by both kinetics and mixing state (i.e., degree of micromixing or segregation). Residence time distributions (RTDs) derived from tracer analysis do not describe intrinsic mixing conditions. CFD-based disinfection models describe the reactor mixing patterns and thus provide a better prediction of microbial inactivation than models that employ a RTD.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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