Lab and Research Subteams

Partical Removal

Contact Chamber

The purpose of the contact chamber is to promote a greater probability of interactions between coagulant and influent particles to reduce the need of more coagulant.The Spring 2018 Contact Chamber team analyzed the performance of the newly redesigned contact chamber by analyzing the head loss across the flocculator with and without the contact chamber.

Members:

  • Cheer Tsang | ct542@cornell.edu
  • Yeonjin Yun| yy374@cornell.edu
  • Canaan Delgado | cad296@cornell.edu

High G Flocculation

The High G team designed an experimental setup to test the effects of velocity gradient (G) on flocculator performance. Specifically the team sought to determine an optimal G value through effluent turbidity results.

For this semester, the team aspires to continue to conduct experiments to determine an optimal G value. Additionally, the team seeks to evaluate the use of hydrophobic tubing to minimize headloss, assess whether headloss can be mitigated through a sudden, short increase in pump speed, and to determine a relationship between coagulant dose and optimal G.

Members:

  • Roswell Lo | rl732@cornell.edu
  • Mehrin Selimgir | ms3442@cornell.edu
  • Kanha Matai | km694@cornell.edu

High Rate Sedimentation

Sedimentation is a critical process for water treatment plants. It is the process by which coagulated minerals, dirt, clay, and other particles are removed from the water via gravitational settling. In a sedimentation tank, water flows upward as flocs settle downward. The particles settle into a "floc blanket" - a fluidized bed of suspended solids colliding in a bottom zone of the sedimentation tank. The particles are initially light and small, but as coagulant dosage persists and particles continue to collide, the particles clump together into heavier floc that will settle into the basin of the recirculator. This process permits clearer water to continue up the plate settler, resulting in a lower effluent NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Unit, a measure of clarity). Past High Rate Sedimentation (HRS) teams have hypothesized that floc blankets thin as experiments progress due to coagulant sticking to the walls of the flocculator, reducing the overall coagulant dosage.

The Spring 2018 team conducted experiments that found increasing coagulant dosage did not prevent floc blanket thinning. The team also found that increasing tube settler length and reducing flocculator shear had minimal effects on floc blanket thinning.

Members:

  • Mike Zarecor | mnz8@cornell.edu
  • Justin Conneely | jtc284@cornell.edu
  • Sneha Sharma | ss3257@cornell.edu

Filter Constrictions

Research the theories of how clay particles are filtered within the stacked rapid sand filters at the microscopic level by using a flow cell to model clay-sand interactions at constrictions between sand particles. This semester's Filter Constrictions team worked on improving the model of particle deposition at a flow constriction and the imaging of said model. This required the adjustment of the flow cell geometry, system flow, and video equipment. Changes made to the model and schematic improved imaging, and the videos the team captured during the experiments supported the hypothesis that flocs are preferentially caught at constrictions in filters.

Members:

  • Thomas Bradford | tsb49@cornell.edu
  • Jacqueline Dokko | jmd475@cornell.edu
  • Jonathan Harris | jdh345@cornell.edu

StaRs Filtration Theory

Understand the physics of filtration and the failure mechanism in Stacked Rapid Sand Filters in order to model the performance of the filter in existing AguaClara Plants through observing the interactions between influent turbidity, PACl dosage, and floc size. The main goal of the Spring 2018 team was to investigate the idea that the filter has a volume capacity before failure time.

Members:

  • Liz Cantlebary | elc227@cornell.edu
  • Alison Valbuena | av525@cornell.edu
  • Dylan Vu | dv236@cornell.edu

1 L/s Plant Test

The 1 L/s Plant Testing subteam was created to develop a solution to bringing safe drinking water to very small rural communities with limited funds and accessibility to a large-scale drinking water treatment plant. The team is dedicating its time this semester to completing fabrication of the 1 L/s plant and combining it with the EStaRS filter. This semester's team is picking up where the Fall 2017 team left off and integrating the new chemical dosing system into the rest of the plant as well as putting finishing touches to the other parts of the plant. The team will be working on performance testing the plant with and without the EStaRS and comparing results to further optimize the plant for implementation in Honduras.

Members:

  • Sung Min Kim | sk2795@cornell.edu
  • Sidney Lok | sgl38@cornell.edu
  • Erica Marroquin | em628@cornell.edu

Dissolved Species Removal

Fluoride Removal

Fluoride contamination of groundwater is a major, well-known health concern, that still does not have any highly effective or sustainable technologies to remedy it. The goals of the Fluoride Team is to develop the optimal system for adsorbing and co precipitating out fluoride from groundwater for implementation in upcoming AguaClara plants located in India.The team is now working to finalize a design and to begin construction of the new, electricity-free apparatus. Once the system is functional, the team plans on running experiments to test its fluoride removal capabilities.

Members:

  • Philip Akpan | pa328@cornell.edu
  • Tigran Mehrabyan| tm545@cornell.edu
  • Desiree Sausele | djs469@cornell.edu
  • Victoria Zhang | vxz3@cornell.edu

Humic acid

Investigate the optimal coagulant dosage at different humic acid concentrations. Develop a mathematical model regarding the relationship between the optimal dosage and different humic acid concentrations.The Spring 2018 Humic Acid subteam seeks to experimentally pinpoint the optimal coagulant concentration needed to promote the removal of different concentrations of humic acid from water.

Members:

  • Peter McGurk| pjm326@cornell.edu
  • Samba Sowe | sas587@cornell.edu
  • Vanessa Qi | zq33@cornell.edu

Two Stage Coagulant Addition

Two Stage Coagulant Addition team was designing and fabricating an apparatus that was used to experiment the benefit of having two stage coagulant addition, in opposition to one, while maintaining an efficient effluent turbidity. "Two stage" stood for adding clean coagulant after all previously added coagulant was fully covered by humic acid, which was the experimental substitution of Natural Organic Matter in the water. As a new sub-team, apparatus and experimental procedures had to be designed and fabricated from scratch. The research was based on Du's thesis, who studied the effect of humic acid on the coagulant dosing model. Based on the bonding mechanism, it could be hypothesized that two stage coagulant addition would increase the removal efficiency of particles.

Members:

  • Yuhao Du | yd342@cornell.edu
  • Barbara Oramah | bio4@cornell.edu
  • Ching Pang | cp546@cornell.edu

Waste Water Treatment

Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket( UASB)

What is a UASB: a form of anaerobic digester that is used for wastewater treatment.

Wastewater enters the reactor from the bottom, and flows upward. A settled sludge blanket filters and treats the wastewater as the wastewater flows through it.

In the Spring 2018 semester, the UASB team will be working on finalizing designs for the pilot scale UASB intially proposed in the 2017 EPA P3 Phase I grant. More specifically, we will be designing a hydraulic inlet system, and designing, and updating the biogas capture/storage system. We will also be writing a Phase II grant to get funding for the fabrication and testing of a second pilot scale UASB.

Members:

  • Zac Chen| zc76@cornell.edu
  • Ian Cullings | idc25@cornell.edu
  • Ananya Gangadhar | ag757@cornell.edu
  • Jennifer Jackson | jkj46@cornell.edu

Two Stage Coagulant Addition

Two Stage Coagulant Addition team was designing and fabricating an apparatus that was used to experiment the benefit of having two stage coagulant addition, in opposition to one, while maintaining an efficient effluent turbidity. "Two stage" stood for adding clean coagulant after all previously added coagulant was fully covered by humic acid, which was the experimental substitution of Natural Organic Matter in the water. As a new sub-team, apparatus and experimental procedures had to be designed and fabricated from scratch. The research was based on Du's thesis, who studied the effect of humic acid on the coagulant dosing model. Based on the bonding mechanism, it could be hypothesized that two stage coagulant addition would increase the removal efficiency of particles.

Members:

  • Yuhao Du | yd342@cornell.edu
  • Barbara Oramah | bio4@cornell.edu
  • Ching Pang | cp546@cornell.edu