Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Mechanical and Materials Engineering


DeGroot, Christopher T.

2nd Supervisor

Straatman, Anthony G.



Increased demand on wastewater treatment plants has motivated the development of new primary wastewater treatment techniques. Rotating belt filters (RBF) offer a spatially compact and lower cost solution. The goal of the present work is to develop a model that accurately predicts the flow rate capacity and removal efficiency of a generic RBF. Mesh resistance will be characterized using an idealized computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of the mesh filter used in an RBF. To characterize the cake resistance, a gravity drainage column test was modeled and using the results from the CFD model, the cake resistance versus filtered volume was found. Removal efficiencies were calculated from sieve test data which characterized the effluent concentration of total suspended solids (TSS) for a given filtered volume. The RBF model is extended to include TSS scaling, a PID controller, and parameter optimization to accurately predict steady state and dynamic RBF pilot performance.