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primEAU

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Modelling primary sedimentation in WWTPs




The project primEAU, supported by John Meunier Inc. (JMI) and Veolia, aims at the development of a new dynamic model for primary clarification. Since the particulate removal capacity of primary clarifiers directly influences the performance of the subsequent treatment units, primary settler can be considered as a fundamental component of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The objectives of this project can be summarized as:

  • the improvement of the generic knowledge on dynamic behaviour of primary settlers, important for process design and optimization;
  • the development of a new dynamic model for primary clarifiers upstream of an activated sludge process connectable to the standard ASM/ADM models; 
  • the investigation of the behaviour of the settler in case of chemical treatment (CEPT), with the scope of maximizing the organic matter conveyed to the anaerobic digester for methane production. 

The identification of the main mechanisms taking place inside primary tanks is very important for the conception of the model, especially regarding the hydraulics and chemical-biological phenomena which may affect particles, their settling velocity and, as a consequence, their removal.

A pilot primary clarifier was specifically provided by JMI for the project and installed in the Eastern WWTP of Québec City.

modelEAU applied to a NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) grant to add emerging contaminants to primEAU. For this purpose, modelEAU collaborates with Sébastien Sauvé, associate professor in environmental analytical chemistry at Université de Montréal.


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Faculty of Science and Engineering - Université Laval
Peter Vanrolleghem - Department of civil engineering and water engineering - Pavillon Adrien-Pouliot - 1065, Médecine avenue, Office 2974
Québec (Québec) - Canada - G1V 0A6 - Telephone : +1-418-656-5085 Email : peter.vanrolleghem@gci.ulaval.ca
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