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Kinetic lumping applied to wastewater treatment

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A key element in establishing efficient reactor designs for wastewater treatment is the ability to define, collectively rather than individually, the kinetic and mechanistic roles of numerous components in wastewater. One approach to resolve this complex problem is to consolidate the experimental data. Traditionally, the design and operation of waste treatment processes have relied on the use of lumped parameters, such as biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, total organic carbon, and total Kjeldahl nitrogen. In doing so, lumping has proven to be a practical tool for kinetic modeling. With the advent of theoretical foundations for kinetic lumping developed in the 1960s, there has been a growing interest in applying this methodology for modeling multicomponent mixtures. As an example, kinetic lumping was first successfully used for modeling the refining of complex hydrocarbon mixtures. These mathematical tools and proven lumping strategies are now available to systematically explore the use of lumped kinetic models for wastewater treatment systems. This study has demonstrated that existing kinetic lumping strategies can be adapted for modeling wastewater treatment processes. Specifically, kinetic lumping strategies and models suitable for wastewater treatment applications have been developed. Examples are provided to illustrate how to select and evaluate lumping schemes and how to calculate lumped rate constants involving reactions starting with single organic constituents and organic mixtures, subjected to hydrothermal oxidation (supercritical water oxidation). The application of kinetic lumping to traditional waste treatment processes is also demonstrated through discussion and examples involving aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1996-07-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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