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Rheological Characterization of Biological Treatment Sludges in a Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant

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This study examined the rheological characteristics of biological treatment sludges originating from secondary stage and sludge treatment unit of a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), using a rotational viscometer equipped with an ultralow adapter or small cylindrical-shaped spindle. A total of four mathematical approaches were used to investigate the fitting of the dependence of the shear stress to the shear rate. A generalized multi-statistical model was proposed to describe the rheological properties of the sludge. The overall results indicated that Ostwald equations have stronger prediction capabilities of the apparent viscosity of treatment sludges than other rheological modeling approaches and the proposed model. Although the proposed model structure did not exhibit a desirable performance, it may have an application potential to calculate the apparent viscosity for a particular shear rate and solid content, which can be measured easily in WWTPs.
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Keywords: apparent viscosity; multi-linear regression; non-Newtonian fluid; rheology; treatment sludge

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Environmental Engineering, Suleyman Demirel University Isparta Turkey, URL:

Publication date: 01 September 2010

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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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