Numerical simulation of a mechanical flocculation process with multi-chambers in series

Jie Zong, Fang Yuan, Minshu Zhan, Wei Xu, Guojian Cheng, Aibing Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A mechanical flocculation system with multi-chambers in series is commonly used as the advanced phosphorus removal technology for wastewater treatment. This work aims to numerically investigate the inner states and overall performance of industrial-scale mechanical flocculators in series. This is based on our previously developed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) flocculation model which is extended to consider the key chemical reactions of phosphorus removal. The effects of the number of flocculation chambers, locations, and sizes of the flocculation chamber connection as well as operational combinations of impeller speeds are investigated. With a decreasing number of flocculation chambers, the main vortexes and chemical reactions are weakened, while the small flocs form. Both the phosphorus removal efficiency η and the average floc size dp reduce as the number of flocculation chambers decreases. The connection location of flocculation chambers directly determines the turbulent flow, thus influencing the key performance indicators. However, the phosphorus removal efficiency η and average particle size dp are little affected by the size of the flocculation chamber connection. As the impeller speeds in series gradually increase, the gradient of floc size distribution in each chamber is enlarged and the chemical reaction is enhanced over the working volume.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1945-1960
Number of pages16
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2023


  • computational fluid dynamics
  • flocculation
  • geometry structures
  • operational conditions
  • phosphorus removal

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