Analysis of Thickener Operation

by Vaughn C. Behn,
Jon C. Liebman,

Serial Information: Journal of the Sanitary Engineering Division, 1963, Vol. 89, Issue 3, Pg. 1-16

Document Type: Journal Paper


A rational theory of thickener operation, based on the Kynch analysis of sedimentation, is used to develop a design method for thickeners using gravity settling of suspensions. Kynch has shown that, in a batch settling process, waves of constant concentration rise with constant velocity. As a result, concentration, settling velocity, and interface height can be related. Application of mass balance equations to a continuous process then leads to a relationship between particle settling velocity and cross-sectional area that permits calculation of the required area. Using an expression that relates dilution factor and time, the volume of the compression zone may be determined, and from this the required depth may be calculated to complete the sizing of the tank.

Subject Headings: Settling velocity | Wave velocity | Particle velocity | Cross sections | Permits | Dilution | Compression

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