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Fluid dynamics model development for scaling-up UV reactors in VOC abatement applications
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Chemical Engineering, Process Technology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present work focuses on the treatment of VOC emissions from industrial processes, since they represent a very severe environmental hazard. For removing the VOC, an AOP (Advanced Oxidation Process) stage based on UV light and ozone was considered, analyzing the methods for the unit scale-up. An innovative CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) model, combining UV irradiation, reaction kinetics and fluid dynamics, describing the behavior of UV reactors in the laboratory scale, was developed. This model was verified against experimental results, displaying good agreement. Therefore, we concluded the CFD model could adequately describe relevant features regarding the performance of UV reactors. After analyzing the laboratory reactors, two designed and scaled up prototypes, were simulated using the CFD model. While the first prototype has a standard lamps configuration, the second presents an innovative lamps distribution. As for the laboratory cases, the most relevant features in terms of irradiation and reaction were described for the prototypes, comparing their performance. We evaluated both the overall VOC conversion and VOC conversion per UV lamp, analyzing the energy efficiency of each configuration with adequately accuracy. Therefore, we conclude the CFD model to be an important tool for reactor scale-up as a result of the good prediction of experimental results and the accurate description of the governing phenomena. By using the developed model, the scale-up process of UV reactors can be quickly improved, by screening various configurations with the simulator before testing them, saving significant time and effort in the development of full-scale reactors.

Keywords [en]
CFD simulation; reactor modelling; reactor scale-up; air treatment; UV reactor; VOC abatement;
National Category
Chemical Process Engineering
Research subject
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-233384OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-233384DiVA, id: diva2:1239849
Funder
Mistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, MI15.14
Note

QC 20180820

Available from: 2018-08-18 Created: 2018-08-18 Last updated: 2018-08-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Process Optimization of UV-Based Advanced Oxidation Processes in VOC Removal Applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Process Optimization of UV-Based Advanced Oxidation Processes in VOC Removal Applications
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Air pollution is a major concern in developed countries due to its hazardous health effects. Recent studies by the WHO (World Health Organization) estimate that urban air pollution causes a number of diseases of the respiratory tract and is associated with 150,000 deaths each year. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are among the major pollutants affecting the outdoor air quality. Given that industrial processes are the main source of atmospheric VOC emissions, national and international authorities have issued regulations to limit such emissions. However, traditional removal technologies such as incineration, have low energy efficiency and high investment costs. AOPs (advanced oxidation processes) offer a promising alternative in which very reactive conditions can be achieved at room temperature, thus greatly increasing energy efficiency. However, this is still not a mature technology due to challenges that limit the range of applications.

This thesis focuses on two types of UV-based AOP: photocatalysis and UV-ozone. The goal is to improve VOC conversion and achieve a process that is competitive with traditional technologies. The research on photocatalysis presents an innovative UV reactor design that is closer to industrial conditions and has the ability to effectively screen different samples. Effort was put into finding a metallic support for the photocatalyst without using additional adhesives. Several electrochemical treatments were performed on metals to restructure the surface. One treatment proved to be superior when it came to stabilizing the TiO2 coating, especially when compared with the traditional ceramic support.

Research on UV-ozone AOPs focused on reactor modelling, developing a numerical and a fluid dynamics model. The goal was to gain a deep understanding of the governing phenomena of UV-ozone reactors so as to optimize the reactor configuration. The numerical model created described the UV irradiation and the reaction kinetics accurately, while a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulator modelled the fluid a larger scale, simulating two prototypes. The work resulted in general guidelines for the design of UV-ozone UV reactors as well as for full-scale units. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2018. p. 92
Series
TRITA-CBH-FOU ; 2018:35
Keywords
AOP, UV, photocatalysis, ozone, air pollution, VOC abatement, reactor design, reactor modelling, photocatalyst support, electrochemical treatment, electrochemical etching, irradiation modelling, kinetics modelling, fluid dynamics simulation, prototype, full-scale, CFD simulation
National Category
Chemical Process Engineering
Research subject
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-233386 (URN)978-91-7729-911-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-09-28, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Mistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, MI15.14
Note

QC 20180820

Available from: 2018-08-20 Created: 2018-08-18 Last updated: 2018-08-20Bibliographically approved

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