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Biological and chemical sludge filtration

Yükseler, Hande
Up to date, sludge filterability has been characterized by the Ruth’s classical filtration theory and quantified by the well-known parameter specific cake resistance (SCR). However, the complexity of the actual phenomenon is clearly underestimated by the classical filtration theory and SCR is often not satisfactory in describing filterability. Although many scientific studies were conducted for a better analysis and understanding of the filtration theory, still a practically applicable solution to replace the classical theory for a better description of filterability has not been proposed yet. In the present study, blocking filtration laws proposed by Hermans and Bredée, dating back to 1936, which have been extensively used in the membrane literature for the analysis of fouling phenomenon and the multiphase filtration theory developed by Willis and Tosun (1980) highlighting the importance of the cake-septum interface in determining the overall filtration rate have been adopted for the analysis of filterability of sludge systems. Firstly, the inadequacy of the classical filtration theory in characterizing the filterability of real sludge systems and also the lack of the currently used methodology in simulating filtration operation was highlighted. Secondly, to better understand the effect of slurry characteristics and operational conditions on filtration, model slurries of spherical and incompressible Meliodent particles were formed. Finally, a methodology was developed with the gathered filtration data to assess the filterability of the sludge systems by both theories. The results clearly show that both approaches were superior to the classical approach in terms of characterizing the filterability of sludge systems. While blocking laws yielded a slurry specific characterization parameter to replace the commonly used SCR, the multiphase theory provided a better understanding of the physical reality of the overall process.