18 research outputs found

    Optimisation of reverse osmosis processes through hybrid modelling and model predictive control

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    In silico assessment of household level closed water cycles : towards extreme decentralization

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    Water management in most of the developed world is currently practiced in a highly centralized manner, leading to major infrastructure and energy costs to transport water. To decrease the impacts of water scarcity and climate change, the decentralization of water can increase local robustness. In extremis, decentralization can involve building or house level water supply and treatment. Here, we constructed a MATLAB/Simulink model for two decentralized water management configurations at the household level, assuming the socio-environmental setting of Flanders, Belgium. Independence from the potable water grid and sewer system was pursued through rainwater harvesting, reuse of wastewater streams fitfor-purpose, and discharge via infiltration. The mass balance for water was calculated over the system boundaries showing high potential for independence from the grid with a reasonable treatment train and storage options. Next, the risk of contaminant accumulation within the circular system was assessed, showing a key limitation on decentralized system performance necessitating a system purge. Up to 59% of system rainwater usage was due to the replacement of this purge. Employing treatment units with high (95%) contaminant rejection efficiencies eliminated contaminant accumulation issues. The raw model output was quantitatively assessed by constructing four newly proposed key performance indicators (KPIs), quantifying system independence, circularity, drought tolerance and local water body recharge, which allowed for facilitated system comparison and communication to stakeholders. A sensitivity analysis was performed in which the effect of input parameter variability and uncertainty on system performance was quantified. The sensitivity analysis showed the importance of water recovery and contaminant removal efficiencies of the applied treatment technologies on system performance when contaminant accumulation in the system forms an issue. In systems not severely affected by pollutant accumulation, parameters such as inhabitant number and roof surface had the largest effect. As a whole, this work shows the potential of extreme decentralization of water systems and addresses the obstacle towards implementation formed by the accumulation of contaminants due to system circularity. Additionally, this study provides a framework for operational and technological decision support of decentralized household-scale water systems and, by extension, for future water policy-making. (c) 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences, Harbin Institute of Technology, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)

    Model calibration and validation of a full-scale reverse osmosis process

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    In order to support current decisions on large-scale design and operation of water treatment technologies, a decision support system (DSS), combining models of different unit processes (UP), would have a clear added value. This DSS should consist of reliable dynamic process models. According to good modelling practice, such models need to be properly calibrated and validated. As a first relevant UP, reverse osmosis (RO) is considered. Based on the solution-diffusion model to describe membrane transport, a steady state model with spatial dependence is built. Calibration of this model on a full-scale RO process, providing ultrapure water for a combined heat and power system, is performed. To support calibration, a global sensitivity analysis indicates which parameters are important towards specific output variables. Later, the model will be extended with a dynamic dependence