Anthony Gerald Straatman

Western University
Project Title: Detailed computational fluid dynamics modeling of UV-AOPs photoreactors for micropollutants oxidation in water and wastewater
Industry Partner: Trojan Technologies
Platforms: Blue Gene/Q, Cloud Analytics

Advanced Manufacturing Digital Media Water

Micropollutants such as bisphenol-A and N-nitrosodimethylamine pose a significant threat to aquatic life, animals, and humans beings due to their persistent and potentially carcinogenic nature. While most conventional water treatment methods cannot remove these contaminants, ultraviolet-driven (UV) advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are effective in degrading micropollutants. As UV-AOPs require electrical energy to enable the treatment, energy costs present a barrier to the widespread adoption of this technology. In this project, we focus on the optimization of UV-AOPs-based reactors to enhance their degradation performance while reducing their energy consumption. In this respect, we will develop a detailed numerical model that integrates hydraulics, optics and chemistry to investigate UV-AOP photoreactors in a comprehensive manner. The resulting information will then be utilized to design the next-generation of UV-AOP photoreactors commercialized by Trojan Technologies. The design space will be explored by high-performance computer simulations of full-scale photoreactors rather than simplified or scaled-down models. This will be accomplished by leveraging open-source software, artificial-intelligence optimization techniques and the second-to-none parallel-computing capabilities offered by Blue Gene/Q. Once the optimization of UV-AOPs-based reactors is complete, the advanced modeling results generated using Blue Gene/Q will be utilized in the development of a simplified model for sizing purposes. This will be accomplished through combined use of metamodeling techniques and cloud computing.  In brief, the concept is to simplify the detailed model developed earlier so that it can be simulated using hand-held mobile devices, which will allow the company’s sales personnel to market the optimized reactors. Consequently, it will allow the company to increase its competiveness on global scale as well as to increase the rate of adoption of advanced water treatment technologies by water utilities and end-users.