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Hydrodynamic analysis of liquid-solid flow in fluidized beds for wastewater treatment

Grant number: 16/06548-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2017
Effective date (End): January 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Industrial Operations and Equipment for Chemical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Gabriela Cantarelli Lopes
Grantee:Gabriela Cantarelli Lopes
Host Investigator: John Ross Grace
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of British Columbia, Vancouver (UBC), Canada  


One of the most promising technologies employed for biological wastewater treatment in recent years is the fluidized bed. In this kind of device, pollutants in wastewater are removed by the action of microbes immobilized on the surface of the fluidized particles, known as bioparticles. One of the advantages of fluidized bed reactors is that they operate at high overall pollutant removal rates, generating low amounts of excess sludge per unit of reactor volume relative to other reactor types. The appropriate biofilm thickness, which coats the bioparticles, has a fundamental role in determining the reactor performance. The biofilm thickness is influenced mainly by the dynamic characteristics of the flow. The shear stress in the flow field, for example, has a major effect on the biofilm thickness. So, in order to ensure long-term operation of the fluidized bed reactor with high biodegradation rates, it is necessary to know its hydrodynamics. This project intends to contribute to the better understanding of how hydrodynamic behaviour affects biofilm characteristics. For this purpose, the liquid- solid flow in fluidized bed reactors will be studied by means of experimental and numerical analysis. Experimental tests will be performed using inert particles coated with polymers to mimic the biofilm present in the bioparticles. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) will be applied to simulate the flow in liquid-solid systems which are similar to those used in the experimental runs and under conditions found in biological fluidized bed reactors for wastewater treatment. The hydrodynamic data collected experimentally will be compared with the simulation results. Additionally, simulations will be performed in conical and cylindrical fluidized beds and the results will be compared with experimental data found in literature in aerobic biofilm fluidized beds. It is intended, therefore, to enhance the understanding of the influence of different variables, such as liquid flow rate, superficial characteristics of the particles and geometric reactor configurations, on the flow dynamics and, consequently, on the bioreactor performance. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
LOPES, GABRIELA C.; BI, XIATAO; EPSTEIN, NORMAN; BALDWIN, SUSAN A.; GRACE, JOHN R.. Hydrodynamic characteristics of particles with different roughness and deformability in a liquid fluidized bed. Chemical Engineering Science, v. 185, p. 50-63, . (16/06548-6)

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