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Settling classes for fine suspended particles


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Titre de la revue : Comptes Rendus Mécanique Volume : 334 N° : 8-9 Pagination : 560-567 Date de publication : 01/08/2006

Résumé

The modelling of pollutant transfer in freshwater systems can be refined by considering the heterogeneities of the sedimentary dynamics and of the chemical reactivities of fine suspended particles. One of the first steps is the fractionation of these fine particles into effective settling classes. Although several methods exist, most of them are based on either granulometric considerations and/or arbitrary threshold criteria. This article presents the bases of an experimental method focusing on the direct measurement of the settling velocities without considering the granulometry and/nor any threshold criteria. The experimental work consists in recording the temporal evolution of the vertical distribution of the suspended solid concentration in a settling tank. A mathematical analysis provides the number of particle groups, and the mass contribution and the settling velocity for each This procedure is described and applied for validation, as a first step, to calibrated suspensions. Additional work is needed for a further analysis of the physical constraints involved in the model, as well as for more extensive experimental validation.