Chlorine-based processes are still widely used for water disinfection. The disinfection process for municipal water consumption is usually carried out in large tanks, specifically designed to verify several hydraulic and disinfection criteria. The hydrodynamic behavior of contact tanks of different shapes, each with an approximate total volume of 50,000 m3, was analyzed by solving turbulent momentum transport equations with a computational fluid dynamics code, namely ANSYS fluent. Numerical experiments of a tracer pulse were performed for each design to generate flow through curves and investigate species residence time distribution for different inlet flow rates, ranging from 3 to 12 m3 s−1. A new nature-inspired Conch tank design whose shape follows an Archimedean spiral was then developed. The spiral design is shown to strongly outperform the other tanks’ designs for all the selected plug flow criteria with an enhancement in efficiency, less short circuiting, and an order of magnitude improvement in mixing and dispersion. Moreover, following the intensification philosophy, after 50% reduction in its size, the new design retains its properties and still gives far better results than the classical shapes.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors acknowledge software, computation, and US patent application (provisional application No. 61/942,357 filed on 20 February, 2014) support from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia.