Modelling of the tubular filter press process.
The objective of this project was to develop a suitable procedure for the design, control and optimisation of the Tubular Filter Press. To this end, the following objectives were defined for this study: • To extend or improve upon the constant pressure compressible cake filtration model, predictive solution procedure, and standard laboratory characterisation techniques requlred to obtain the empirical model parameters, presented in Rencken (1992). A new generalised area contact constant pressure compressible cake filtration model was developed for both the internal cylindrical and planar filtration geometries. The model utilises a heuristically developed area contact function which relates the interparticle contact area to the solids compressive pressure within the cake. If the area contact is zero, the model reduces to the conventional point contact model as presented in Rencken ( 1992). The sludge used in this investigation was found to exhibit a negligible degree of area contact. A new pseudo variable pressure solution procedure was developed, that is an extension of the constant pressure solution procedure, to account for the initial variable pressure stage of the Tubular Filter Press operation. The pseudo variable pressure solution procedure was found to account accurately for the initial filtration behaviour observed during the pressurisation period of the Tubular Filter Press. However for the normal operation of the Tubular Filter Press. the difference between the output of the pseudo variable pressure and constant pressure solution procedures, was found to be insignificant. Wall friction in compression-permeability (C-P) cell tests was identified as a main source of error. The significance of wall friction was investigated using a specially constructed C-P cell. that enabled the transmitted pressure through the cake sample to be measured. The accuracy of the characterisation which had been corrected for the effects of wall friction, was found to improve the prediction of the filtration behaviour of the sludge significantly. The direct shear test was identified and documented as a feasible experimental procedure to determine the coefficient of earth pressure at rest. The coefficient of earth pressure is unique to the non-planar filtration geometries. The coefficient of earth pressure at rest was determined for the sludge used in this investigation. • To incorporate the constant pressure compressible cake filtration model and the associated predictive solution procedures into a user-friendly computer programme that will facilitate the design and optimisation of full-scale plants. The predictive solution procedures were incorporated into the Windows 95 computer programme, COMPRESS, that can be used for any constant pressure compressible cake dead-end filtration application where the filtration geometry is planar or internal cylindrical. A control and optimisation strategy for the continuous operation of the Tubular Filter Press has been proposed. To develop a regressive solution procedure, and incorporate this procedure into a user-friendly computer progranune, that will enable the empirical model parameters. normally obtained from standard laboratory-scale tests, to be obtained from actual filtration data. A regressive solution procedure was developed that utilises a direct search optimisation technique that is an extension of the COMPLEX method. The regressive solution procedure was incorporated into the Windows 95 program, REGRESS. The program utilises filtration data from any dead-end constant pressure filtration application of either planar or internal cylindrical geometry. REGRESS provides an effective means for determining the true physical or plant specific filtration characteristics of the sludge. The regressive solution procedure also enables the parameters specific to the new area contact model to be determined. The sludge characterisation obtained from regressing on filtration data was found to be a significant improvement in predicting the filtration behaviour, than the characterisation obtained from the standard non-filtration laboratory-scale methods, even after the C-P cell data had been corrected for the effects of wall friction. The programs COMPRESS and REGRESS should greatly assist in the design. control and optimisation of the Tubular Filter Press process.