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Development of a Novel Circular Secondary Clarifier for Improving Solids Liquid Separation in Wastewater Treatment

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A novel circular secondary clarifier was developed to obviate the shortcomings of conventional clarifiers. The novel clarifier provides natural flocculation, which occurs as a result of hydraulic energy dissipation and the formation of sludge cloud referred to as plume. The efficiency of the clarifier depends on the stability of the plume, which in turn depends on the velocity gradient. For natural flocculation to occur, a velocity gradient of 10 to 15 s −1 was found to be favorable. This velocity also keeps the plume-rise well below the free-surface. The mean particle size of mixed liquor suspended solids increases from 41 to 83 μm in the plume, which indicates agglomeration of particles and confirms that natural flocculation is occurring within the plume. The hydraulic improvement achieved by improving inlet design dissipates hydraulic energy, uniformly distributes flow, minimizes sludge blanket disturbances, and promote flocculation. The improved clarifier operates at 1-h hydraulic retention time.

Keywords: Secondary clarifier; energy dissipation; flocculation; plume; suspended solids; velocity gradient

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2009

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  • 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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