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Bimodal particle size distributions of fine-grained cohesive sediments in a settling column with oscillating grids
Zhang, J.; Shen, X.; Zhang, Q.; Maa, J.P.-Y.; Qiao, G. (2019). Bimodal particle size distributions of fine-grained cohesive sediments in a settling column with oscillating grids. Cont. Shelf Res. 174: 85-94. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.csr.2019.01.005
In: Continental Shelf Research. Pergamon Press: Oxford; New York. ISSN 0278-4343; e-ISSN 1873-6955, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Flocculation; Kaolinite; Bimodal particle size distributions;Oscillating grids; Turbulence; Shear rate

Auteurs  Top 
  • Zhang, J.
  • Shen, X.
  • Zhang, Q.
  • Maa, J.P.-Y.
  • Qiao, G.

Abstract
    The time evolutions of local Particle Size Distributions (PSDs) of suspended kaolinite are explored under different hydrodynamic conditions. A setup that uses oscillating grids is adopted to generate a nearly isotropic turbulence in a settling column, and the results at the observation location show that the initial unimodal PSDs change to bimodal distributions due to flocculation processes. The first peak of the bimodal PSD, which represents primary particles (0.1–4 µm) and flocculi (4–20 µm), remains similar in size to the median size of the initial PSD. The second peak, which represents the flocs (> 50 µm), however, is size-varying under different experimental durations and shear rates. For low shear rates, the size of the second peak increases with time and reaches an equilibrium state; for high shear rates, it first increases and then decreases. Moreover, the two PSD peaks are reasonably simulated by a two-class population balance equation, with the experimental and predicted results comparing well. The results of this study also indicate that the optimum shear rate to boost flocculation is approximately 20 s−1.

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