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Urban Water InterfacesState of the art

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Initial project plan

State of the art and preliminary work

Sewer systems are an essential part of urban wastewater systems. Today, they face significant problems such as the emergence of foul odour and the corrosion of pipelines due to sulphuric acid, and these problems will be increased by climate and demographic change; there is a huge damage potential, and extensive renovations are urgently needed. Reducing odour and corrosion can be achieved by improving control systems with the development of a linkage of modelling and monitoring methods. Although there are several empirical formulas for predicting H2S formation (e.g. Thistlethwayte 1972, ATV 1992, Nielsen et al. 1998, Saracevic 2009), they can only be used under very restrictive conditions and are not suitable for a prediction model for odour and corrosion in sewers. A more general approach is given by a process-based model which solves the conservation equations of mass, momentum, and energy for water and gas phase, taking into account mass-transfer processes between the water-gas and the gas-solid phases (corrosion, Nielsen et al. 2014). The development of such process-based models is at an early stage, and there is only one model (WATS, Hvitved-Jacobsen et al. 2013, Vollertsen et al. 2008) which simulates a wide range of the above-mentioned processes. The following preliminary work will contribute to this doctoral thesis: (i) Simons et al. (2014) have developed the 2D shallow water model HMS using robust high  order schemes (Hou, 2013, Hou et al. 2013a, b). HMS is based on the Finite-Volume method and is embedded in an objectoriented framework; (ii) Jourieh et al. (2009) and Jourieh (2014) modelled the spreading of sewer overflow in the river Spree; (iii) Schankat (2009) and Schankat et al. (2009) developed a 2D  flow and multi-component biogeochemical reactive transport model for groundwater (DiaTrans) in a similar object-oriented framework; and (iv) Kobayashi (2004), Kobayashi et al. (2007, 2008) and Hinkelmann (2005) analysed mass transfer processes through the water-gas interface for subsurface systems. Prof. Barjenbruch has extensive experience in monitoring  odour and corrosion in sewer systems as well as in prevention measures (Barjenbruch & Dohse 2004). Common methods in monitoring, modelling and operating sewer systems to prevent odour and corrosion have been summarized in a literature review by the applicants Prof. Barjenbruch and Prof. Hinkelmann (Barjenbruch et al. 2008). This doctoral thesis will concentrate on the modelling and will be substantially supported by preliminary and running work undertaken in the pilot plant of BWB (see T2).

Aims and work steps

A three-phase (water, gas, solid (wall)) model will be developed which simulates the complex and coupled, flow and reactive transport processes in the water and gas phases, and interactions with the pipe wall (corrosion, biofilms). The reactions include biological and chemical transformations of  sulphur compounds in the water phase (aerobic, anoxic and anaerobic), including the impact of O2, N, pH and temperature, as well as in the gas phase. Our existing HMS shallow water model will serve as the basis for the stationary one-dimensional flow of the water and air phase in the pipe. Then the multi-component reactive transport processes in both phases will be included based on DiaTrans. Special robust coupling algorithms will be developed for the different momentums in the two fluid phases (friction) and for the mass transfers between the fluid phases and the wall (corrosion). We will obtain  data and parameters from the pilot plant of BWB (see T2) including their dependencies for example on temperature and pH (e.g. Henry’s coefficient). Finally, the three-phase simulation model will be tested and validated in the pilot plant. In subsequent doctoral theses, we will consider instationary flow, sediment transport, a special treatment of drops (two-phase Navier-Stokes solver with complex turbulence models, e.g. with OpenFOAM), and will apply the new model to an urban sewer system for optimising measures for the reduction of odour and corrosion.

Connections to interfaces and other doctoral theses

This doctoral thesis will be carried out in very close collaboration with T2. Interface processes between water and air will be analysed together with N3, Further common topics related to modelling will be discussed with N7 and T4.



ATV (1992): Besondere Entwässerungsverfahren: Unterdruckentwässerung-Druckentwässerung. Arbeitsblatt A 116, Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Abwassertechnik e.V., Bad Hennef

Barjenbruch,M. & Dohse,C. (2004): Bewertung von Maßnahmen zur Verringerung von Geruchsund Korrosionserscheinungen im Kanalnetz des ländlichen Raumes. Report, LAWA

Hinkelmann,R. (2005): Efficient Numerical Methods and Information-Processing Techniques for Modeling Hydro- and Environmental Systems. Lecture Notes in Applied and Computational Mechanics, Vol. 21, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

Hou,J., Liang,Q., Simons,F. & Hinkelmann,R. (2013a): A 2D well-balanced shallow flow model for unstructured grids with novel slope source term treatment. Advances in Water Resources 52 (2013), pp. 107–131, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2012.08.003

Hou,J., Simons,F., Mahgoub,M. & Hinkelmann,R. (2013b): A robust well-balanced model on unstructured grids for shallow water flows with wetting and drying over complex topography. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Elsevier, Vol. 257, pp. 126-149, DOI.org/10.1016/j.cma.2013.01.015

Hou,J. (2013): Robust Numerical Methods for Shallow Water Flows and Advective Transport Simulation on Unstructured Grids. Doctoral Thesis, Vol. 13, Book Series of the Institute of Civil Engineering, Technische Universität Berlin

Hvitved-Jacobsen,T., Vollertsen,J. & Nielsen,A.H. (2013): Sewer Processes - Microbial and Chemical Process Engineering of Sewer Networks. CRC Press

Jourieh,A. (2014): Multi-dimensional Simulation of Hydrodynamics and Transport Processes in Surface Water Systems. Doctoral Thesis, Technische Universität Berlin, to be published in Book Series of the Institute of Civil Engineering

Kobayshi,K., Hinkelmann,R., Helmig,R., Takar,K. & Tamai,N. (2007): A Numerical Experiment with Two-Phase and Two-Phase/Three-Component Models for the Methane Migration in the Subsurface Aquifer. Doboku Gakkai Ronbunshuu B, Vol. 63, No. 2, 120-133, ISSN 1880-6031, Japanese Society of Civil Engineering, in Japanase language

Kobayshi,K., Hinkelmann,R. & Helmig,R. (2008): Development of a Simulation-Optimization Model for Multiphase Systems in the Subsurface: A Challenge to Real World Simulation-Optimization. Journal of Hydroinformatics, Vol. 10. No. 2, pp. 132-152

Kobayashi,K. (2004): Optimization Methods for Multiphase Systems in the Subsurface: Application to Methane Migration in Coal Mining Areas. Dissertation, Mitteilungen Heft 139, Institut für Wasserbau, Universität Stuttgart

Nielsen,A.H., Hvitved-Jacobsen,T. Jensen,H.S. & Vollertsen,J. (2014): Experimental evaluation of the stoichiometryof sulphide related concrete sewer corrosion. Journal of Environmental Engineering, Vol. 140, No. 2, pp. 04013009-1–04013009-7

Nielsen, P.H., Raunkjaer,K. & Hvitved-Jacobsen,T. (1998): Sulfide production and wastewater quality in pressure mains. Water Sci. Technol., 37, 97-104

Saračević,E. (2009): Zur Kenntnis der Schwefelwasserstoffbildung und -vermeidung in Abwasserdruckleitungen. Wiener Mitteilungen, Vol. 211, Wien, ISBN 978-3-85234-103-3

Schankat,M. (2009): DiaTrans-A Multi-Component Model for Density-Driven Flow, Transport and Biogeochemical Reaction Processes in the Subsurface. Doctoral Thesis, Vol. 04, Book Series of the Institute of Civil Engineering, Technische Universität Berlin [This thesis, supervised by Prof. Hinkelmann, won the Tiburtius Award for an excellent doctoral thesis in 2010, from the Federal Conference of the Rectors and Presidents of Berlin's Universities.]

Simons,F., Hou,J., Özgen,I., Busse,T., & Hinkelmann,R. (2014): A model for overland flow and associated processes within the Hydroinformatics Modelling System. Journal of Hydroinformatics, 16 (2), 375-391, DOI:10.2166/hydro.2013.173

Thistlethwayte,D.K.B. (1972): The control of sulphides in sewerage systems. Section of Environmental Engineering Department of Life Sciences, Aalborg University, Butterworths

Vollertsen,J., Nielsen,A.H., Jensen,H.S., Wium-Andersen,T. & Hvitved-Jacobsen,T. (2008): Corrosion of concrete sewers - The kinetics of hydrogen sulfide oxidation. Sci. Total Environ., 394 (1), 162-170


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