New Research Article by Lippert et al. 2019
Impact of ultrasound-induced cavitation on the fluid dynamics of water and sewage sludge in ultrasonic flatbed reactors
The fluid dynamics of water, thickened waste activated sludge (WAS, total solids concentration 4.4%) and di- gested sludge (DS, total solids concentration 2.5%) within a lab-scale ultrasonic flatbed reactor were experi- mentally investigated. For a visual observation of the opaque sludge flow, sewage sludges were approximated by transparent xanthan solutions with identical flow behavior. The visualization of the flow was realized by useof an ultrasonic reactor with a transparent panel and dye streams injected into the flow. Without ultrasonic treatment, xanthan solutions showed distinct laminar flow behavior (generalized Reynolds numbers < 1), ata flow rate of 100 L/h. In water, dye streams remained coherent as well, but with slightly unsteady features (Reynolds number ∼ 350). Activation of the ultrasound reactor caused strong fluid dynamic disturbance in the water flow and dye streams were dissolved instantly, thus indicating turbulent mixing. For the xanthan solutions, however, mixing was considerably less pronounced. The dye streams in the DS substitute (0.5% xanthan solution) remained overall in laminar shape, but exhibited an eruption-like branching and an increase in diameter with advancing treatment duration. For the solution resembling WAS (2.0% xanthan solution), only weak dye stream disruption was observed, thus indicating that WAS flow in flatbed reactors is nearly laminar during ultrasonic treatment.