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CFD applications to water and wastewater treatment

  • 1.  CFD applications to water and wastewater treatment

    Posted 06-11-2014 05:22 PM
    Hello EWRI Colleagues, 

    I just graduated from a PhD program in Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of South Florida. In my PhD study, I studied disinfection process for water treatment and stabilized pond for wastewater treatment using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). CFD technology has been prevalent in aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering for many decades. But it was not popular in environmental engineering until recently. During a literature review, I noticed that there are more researchers outside the United States (e.g., Canada, UK, Germany, and France etc.) concerning improving the performance of disinfection tank and willing to explore the disinfection process using modeling tools (mostly CFD). I think it is an interesting phenomenon. But it may not be true. Please correct me if you happen to have a better knowledge in this field. Any other comments are also welcome.



    Jie (Jay) Zhang, Ph.D.
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    University of South Florida
    Tampa FL

  • 2.  RE: CFD applications to water and wastewater treatment

    Posted 07-30-2014 08:48 AM
    Jay, congratulations on completing your PhD degree and welcome to the practice and teaching of civil and environmental engineering. As your District 5 Director I visited your outstanding program and faculty a few years ago. Your graduation indicates all is well with your program.

    I recall computational fluid dynamics models being used to design and analyze unit wastewater and drinking water treatment processes at least back to the 1990s, in Australia at Cook University in Townsend, then for a sedimentation basin as I recall. The faculty were protegees of Jorg Imberger from the University of Western AU research program on stratified reservoirs.

    The key to use has always been a well defined purpose and a means by which a PE can establish the calculations are necessary, useful and accurate. You have completed your terminal degree so perhaps your practice and teaching will help provide the guidance on when and how to use computational fluid mechanics. You and like-minded environmental engineers could propose an EWRI task committee to define the need and then write the Manual of Practice to support the use of these very flexible models in practice where needed.

    Looking forward to your contributions to the profession.

    Steven McCutcheon Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, F.EWRI, M.ASCE
    Nat Expert, Sr Envir Engr
    Athens GA
    (706) 543-6972(706) 543-6972

  • 3.  RE: CFD applications to water and wastewater treatment

    Posted 07-31-2014 09:26 AM
    Jay, Congratulations as well, I have never heard of CFD using in analyzing drinking water and wastewater...do happen have any articles or journals about this modeling? I would love to read up....


    Rishabh Iyer Aff.M.ASCE
    TRC Environmental
    Lowell MA

  • 4.  RE: CFD applications to water and wastewater treatment

    Posted 08-01-2014 11:38 AM
    Hi Rishabh, thanks! There are a lot of papers on CFD applications to water and wastewater treatment. But since you haven't read one, I'd suggest you read some review paper first. The links below are some recent literature reviews of CFD applications to disinfection and membrane for water treatment. I think you may have an interest in reading them. 
    Rauen, W. B., Angeloudis, A., & Falconer, R. A. (2012). Appraisal of chlorine contact tank modelling practices. Water research46(18), 5834-5847.

    Zhang, J., Tejada-Martínez, A. E., & Zhang, Q. (2014). Developments in computational fluid dynamics-based modeling for disinfection technologies over the last two decades: A review. Environmental Modelling & Software58, 71-85.
    Ghidossi, R., Veyret, D., & Moulin, P. (2006). Computational fluid dynamics applied to membranes: State of the art and opportunities. Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification45(6), 437-454.


    Jie (Jay) Zhang A.M.ASCE
    University of South Florida
    Tampa FL

  • 5.  RE: CFD applications to water and wastewater treatment