A laboratory model is used to measure the generic flow patterns in dissolved air flotation (DAF). The Perspex model used in this study allows the use of laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV), a non-invasive, high-resolution (±2 mm s−1) laser technique of flow velocity measurement. Measurement of flow velocity in the single-phase situation was first carried out. Air-saturated water was then supplied to the tank and measurements of bubble velocity in the two-phase system were made. Vertical flow re-circulation was observed in the flotation zone. In the bottom of the flotation zone (near the riser) secondary flow re-circulation was observed, but only in the two-phase system. Another phenomenon was the apparent movement of flow across the tank width, which may be due to lateral dispersion of the bubble cloud. Data from preliminary computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models were compared against this measured data in the case of the single-phase system. The CFD model incorporating a k-e model of turbulence was found to give closer agreement with the measured data than the corresponding laminar flow model. The measured velocity data will be used to verify two-phase computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models of DAF.

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