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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Sedimentation between parallel plates Paulos, Yonas Kinfu


Settling basins can be shortened by using a stack of horizontal parallel plates which develop boundary layers in which sedimentation can occur. The purpose of this study is to examine the design parameters for such a system and to apply this approach to a fish rearing channel in which settling length is strictly limited. Flow between parallel rough and smooth plates has been modelled together with sediment concentration profile. Accurate description of boundary layer flow requires the solution of Navier-Stokes equations, and due to the complexity of the equations to be solved for turbulent flow some assumptions are made to relate the Reynolds stresses to turbulent kinetic energy and turbulent energy dissipation rate. The simplified equations are solved using a numerical method which uses the approach given by the TEACH code. The flow parameters obtained from the turbulent flow model are used to obtain the sediment concentration profile within the settling plates. Numerical solution of the sedimentation process is obtained by adopting the general transport equation. The lower plate is assumed to retain sediments reaching the bottom. The design of a sedimentation tank for a fish rearing unit with high velocity of flow has been investigated. The effectiveness of the sedimentation tank depends on the uniformity of flow attained at the inlet, and experiments were conducted to obtain the most suitable geometric system to achieve uniform flow distribution without affecting other performances of the fish rearing unit. The main difficulties to overcome were the heavy circulation present in the sedimentation tank and the clogging of the distributing system by suspended particles. Several distributing systems were investigated, the best is discussed in detail. It was concluded that a stack of horizontal parallel plates can be used in fish rearing systems where space is limited for settling sediments. Flow distribution along the vertical at the entrance to the plates determines the efficiency of the sediment settling process and a suitable geometrical configuration can be constructed to distribute the high velocity flow uniformly across the vertical. Numerical modelling of sediment removal ratio for flow between smooth and rough parallel plates has been calculated. The results show that almost the same pattern of sediment deposition occurs for both the smooth-smooth and rough-smooth plate arrangements.

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