Water Treatment

1. Project title: Particle scale study of fines migration in suspension flow in porous membrane for wastewater treatment

Australia is one of the driest inhabited continents, and wastewater treatment and purification are of great significance and importance in Australia. In the membrane-based purification process, the understanding of fines migration behaviours and fouling mechanisms based on particle scale can effectively optimise the operation conditions and increase the purification efficiency.

In ProMO group, the state-of-the-art CFD-DEM (computational fluid dynamic-discrete element method) modelling approach will be further developed for understanding the insights on fines migration and removal across the membrane. Several projects are available in this area:

      • Model development for describing the powder-solid-liquid behaviour including powder, solid and liquid phases.
      • The study of fundamental powder-solid-liquid behaviours including complex inter-phase interactions.
      • The application of new numerical models on water treatment process, for example the microfiltration and granular filtration, and the analysis of fouling mechanism based on particle scale.

Talented students who are interested in these projects are most welcome, and various scholarships are available for both domestic and international students. The research experience during PhD study will prepare you for job prospects in research institutions or universities.

2. Project title: Multi-scale study of sand filtration for wastewater treatment

Sand filtration is commonly used in drinking water treatment processes to remove suspended solids, colloids, and some pathogens like microbes and viruses. To improve the sand filtration performance, understanding the mechanics of hydrodynamics and adhesive torques between the suspension and sand particles are essential. This project aims to predict the adsorption or detachment of colloids and quantify the flow velocity heterogeneity near the sand particles surface. The Lattice Boltzmann method (LBM), which describes fluid transport phenomena by a resolved computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method, can describe the fluid-particle interactions. This project will focus on the LBM development for describing the fluid flow through porous media, aiming to deliver the fundamental understanding of liquid-solid hydrodynamics at particle scale and expand the application of sand filtration in drinking water treatment processes.

We welcome talented students who are interested in this work, and we have a variety of scholarships for both domestic and international students. The research experience and skills acquired during PhD study will help exploring job opportunities in academia and industry.

3. Project title: Model development of a semi-resolved CFD-DEM model for fine particle migration

The migration of fine particles in gap-graded soils due to seepage flow is often encountered in geotechnical engineering. The mechanism of the seepage-induced fine particle migration is not yet clear since it involves the fluid flow through a complex pore network of the coarse skeleton at the pore-scale and the particle-fluid interactions at the particle-scale. This project aims to develop a semi-resolved CFD-DEM model which combines resolved CFD-DEM with the unresolved CFD-DEM to provide a useful tool in understanding the mechanism of fine particle migration. The fluid flow in the vicinity of the fine particles is locally averaged over a domain with dimensions larger than the sizes of fine particles, which is similar to that in the unresolved CFD-DEM; while the flow around the coarse particle is resolved using fluid meshes with sizes several times smaller than the diameters of the coarse particles, which is identical to that in the resolved CFD-DEM.

We welcome students who are interested in computer science and numerical algorithm implementation on the opensource software packages to joins us, and we could provide various scholarships for both international and domestic students. 





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