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CE3610 Environmental

Modelling in Environmental Engineering :
Transport and Transformation Models

Modelling is a very important activity in environmental

The need for modelling arises from the complex systems
and processes that must be addressed.
Environmental engineers are frequently challenged to
explain why an environmental system behaves as it
does, to predict how it will evolve if left undisturbed, or
to discern how a system will respond to a change.
Qualitative judgment has to be supported by
quantitative evidence!!! Environmental Scientists
usually provide the qualitative judgements but not the
quantitative ones.
Modelling in Environmental Engineering : Transport
and Transformation Models
Example: Effect of subsurface contamination of a
chemical storage tank on ground water quality

Not all effects and scenarios could be experimentally

determined. So environmental engineers develop and
use models to interpret observations or to make
predictions. (global warming prediction is a model
calculation in itself)
Mass Balance Approach

Deposit Withdrawal

If the balance doesnt earn interest;

Balance = Deposit - Withdrawal

Mass Balance Approach

Deposit Withdrawal

If the balance earns interest;

Balance = Deposit Withdrawal + interest

Mass Balance Approach

Input Output

Accumulation = Input Output

Example.1.1 (single input/output)

Water 1.5L 0.8 L

Accumulated amount (L) =

Input (1.5L) Output (0.8 L)
= 0.7 L= 0.7 L
Accumulated amount (kg)=
Input (1.5L*1kg/L) Output (0.8 L*1kg/L)
= 0.7 L*1kg/L = 0.7 kg

1.5L/min 0.8 L/min

Accumulation rate (L/min) =

Input rate (1.5L/min) Output rate (0.8 L/min)
= 0.7 L/min
Accumulated amount (kg)=
Input (1.5L/min*1kg/L) Output (0.8 L/min*1kg/L)
= 0.7 L/min*1kg/L = 0.7 kg/min
Mass Balance Approach

Deposit Withdrawal

If the balance earns interest;

Balance = Deposit Withdrawal + interest

Mass Balance Approach

Input Output

If transformation occurs within system;

Accumulation = Input Output + growth (-ve if decay)

Reactor configurations..summarizing

1. batch reactors (BR) Many chemical processes are batch

produced e.g. BOD test, reaction time is important.

2. Complete mixed flow rectors (Continuously stirred tank

reactor)- (CSTR) well mixed, no concentration gradient and
hence equal to effluent concentration, common in wwT in
anaerobic processes, resident time is an important parameter.

3. Plug flow reactors (PFR)- longer the reactor, greater the

conversion. Most common in activated WWT.
Analysis of performance of rector types

The basis of reactor analysis is the material balance equation

In reactor analysis the following may occur;

1. Accumulation -/+
2. Input through the system boundary or by generation within the
reactor due to reaction
3. Output through the system boundary or by consumption due to
Material balance for a material A

QCA QCAo +rAV = V dCA/dt eq (1)

Q- flow rate m3/s

CA - concentration of material A, mg/L
CAo effluent concentration, mg/L
V volume of fluid in the reactor, m3
rA rate of reaction of material A, mg/L.s
Batch/Plug flow reactors

Consider batch processes and plug flow processes are considered

similar for analysis

For batch process;

Q=0, V=constant eq (1) becomes
0+0+rAV = V dCA/dt
rA = dCA/dt
Batch/Plug flow

For Zero order equations;

rA = -k0

k0 Zero order reaction rate constant mg/Ls

-k0 = dCA/dt
Batch/Plug flow

For first order equations;

rA = -k1 CA

-k1 CA= dCA/dt

1 C Ai
CAo = CAi e-kt t ln
k C Ao
Complete mixed flow reactors

In steady state condition, accumulation =0

dCA/dt = 0

QCAi QCAo +rAV = 0

-rA=Q/V(CAi CAo )
CMF reactors

For Zero order equations;

rA = -k0

k0 Zero order reaction rate constant mg/Ls

-rA=Q/V(CAi CAo ); Substituting rA = -k0

k0 V/Q = CAi CAo

V/Q hydraulic retention time, T

CAi CAo = k0 T CAo = CAi k0 T
CMF reactors

For first order equations;

rA = -k1 CAo
-rA=Q/V(CAi CAo ); Substituting rA = -k1 CAo

( CAi CAo )/ CAo =k1 T

( Cai/CAo 1 )/ =k1 T
Cai/CAo ) =k1 T+1

CAo =CAi/(1+k1 T)
Reaction order

The rate at which reactions occur usually is determined by

measuring the concentration of either a reactant or a product as
the reaction proceeds to complete.
Note that reaction rate coefficients depend
on temperature

Given the temperature 8/5/2016

differences are small
Typical rate expressions for selected
Problem 1

Problem 2

Glucose was added to a batch culture of m/o and the removal was measured
over time.
Conc. Of glucose time (days)
As COD mg/l
180 0
155 5
95 12
68 22
42 31
26 40
Determine the order of reaction and reaction constant.
Treatment process kinetics (continued)

Types of reactors commonly used in wastewater treatment

1. Batch reactors
2. complete mix flow (CMF) or continuous flow stirred (CFST)
3. Complete mix reactors in series
4. Ideal plug flow (PF)
5. Ideal plug flow with retard reaction rate
6. Plug flow with axial dispersion
Important relationships for different reactor
configurations (summery)

At steady state conditions with first order reactions;

For a batch reactor or plug flow reactor the following will
CAo = Cai.exp(-k0t)
For a completely mixed reactor or continuous stirred tank
CAo =Cai/(1+k1 T)
Where k is the decay rate coefficient. If growth occurs, -k
will have to be replaced by in these equations.
For n CMF reactors in series

C Ai 1 C Ai
C Ao T ( 1)
1 k1T k1 C Ao
C Ai
C1 1 k1T C Ai Q, CAi C1 C2 Cn
C2 V,K
1 k1T 1 k1T (1 k1T ) 2
C Ai 1

Cn 1 C Ai n
(1 k1T ) n T 1
k1 Cn

Example 2.

Concentration of a pollutant is reduced from 300 mg/l to

50 mg/l as the liquid flow containing the pollutant passes
through a CMF reactor
If the reaction in the reactor follows 1st order kinetics
and the liquid flow rate is 900 m3/day, what is the
volume of the reactor when reaction rate constant k=0.6
Example 3.

It is desired that the concentration of the contaminant

be reduced from 150 mg/l to 25 mg/l for a flow of 3000
m3/d. Assuming 1st order kinetics with k=0.5 /d, compare
the total volume required for the following reactor
1. single CMF reactor
2. 2 CMF reactors in series
3. single P.F. reactor
In case of industrial w/w, it is better to select CMF
Reason: if there is a poisonous substance is
introduced in to the reactor, it will be diluted due to
mixing where as in P.F. it is not so. Due to this
poisonous substance the m/o can be killed during
which time the reactor operations cease.
As the no. of reactors in series increases the total
reactor volume decreases to obtain the same
efficiency. Such a system approaches a P. F reactor

Metcalf and Eddy- Wastewater Engineering treatment and reuse-