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Article

Development of an Automated Tracer Testing System for UASB Laboratory-Scale Reactors

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Departamento de Química Aplicada y Sistemas de Producción, Universidad de Cuenca, Cuenca 010203, Ecuador
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Departamento de Recursos Hídricos y Ciencias Ambientales, Universidad de Cuenca, Cuenca 010203, Ecuador
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PROMAS, Universidad de Cuenca, Cuenca 010203, Ecuador
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Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad de Cuenca, Cuenca 010203, Ecuador
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BIOMATH, Department of Data Analysis and Mathematical Modelling, Ghent University, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
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Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Cuenca, Cuenca 010203, Ecuador
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Constantinos V. Chrysikopoulos
Water 2021, 13(13), 1821; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131821
Received: 29 April 2021 / Revised: 25 June 2021 / Accepted: 26 June 2021 / Published: 30 June 2021
Residence time distribution (RTD) curves play an essential role in the hydraulic characterization of reactors. Current approaches for obtaining RTD curves in laboratory-scale reactors are time-consuming and subject to large errors. Thus, automated systems to obtain RTD curves in laboratory-scale reactors are of great interest for reducing experimental errors due to human interaction, minimizing experimentation costs, and continuously obtaining experimental data. An automated system for obtaining RTD curves in laboratory-scale reactors was designed, built, and tested in this work. During the tests conducted in a cylindrical upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor, the system worked properly using the stimulus–response pulse technique with sodium chloride as a tracer. Four main factors were found to affect the representativeness of the RTD curves: flow stabilization time, test water conductivity, temperature, and surface tension. A discussion on these factors and the corresponding solutions is presented. The RTD curves of the UASB reactor are left-skewed with a typical tank reactor’s flow shape with channeling and dead zones. A transitory flow behavior was evidenced in the reactor, which indicates the influence of internal turbulent flow structures. The system proposed herein is expected to help study the hydraulics of reactors using laboratory-scale models more efficiently. View Full-Text
Keywords: automated system; laboratory-scale model reactor; UASB reactor; residence time distribution curve automated system; laboratory-scale model reactor; UASB reactor; residence time distribution curve
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cisneros, J.F.; Pelaez-Samaniego, M.R.; Pinos, V.; Nopens, I.; Alvarado, A. Development of an Automated Tracer Testing System for UASB Laboratory-Scale Reactors. Water 2021, 13, 1821. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131821

AMA Style

Cisneros JF, Pelaez-Samaniego MR, Pinos V, Nopens I, Alvarado A. Development of an Automated Tracer Testing System for UASB Laboratory-Scale Reactors. Water. 2021; 13(13):1821. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131821

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cisneros, Juan F., Manuel R. Pelaez-Samaniego, Verónica Pinos, Ingmar Nopens, and Andrés Alvarado. 2021. "Development of an Automated Tracer Testing System for UASB Laboratory-Scale Reactors" Water 13, no. 13: 1821. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131821

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