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Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis of the Effects of Reactor Configuration on Disinfection Efficiency

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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 a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model to predict velocity fields, mass transport, chlorine decay, and microbial inactivation in a continuous flow reactor. The CFD model was 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. The CFD-based disinfection models account for reactor mixing patterns by resolution of the reactor velocity field and thus provide a better prediction of microbial inactivation than models that use an RTD.
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Keywords: computational fluid dynamics; disinfection; reactor engineering; residence time distributions

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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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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