A New Control/Optimization Instrument for Coagulation Management

EPA Contract Number: 68D10033
Title: A New Control/Optimization Instrument for Coagulation Management
Investigators: Jorden, Roger M.
Small Business: Clear Corporation Enterprises Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1991 through March 1, 1992
Project Amount: $50,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1991) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water and Watersheds , SBIR - Water and Wastewater , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Safe Drinking Water Act requirements will soon mandate improved performance in drinking water purification plants nationally for both turbidity (potential disease transmitting particles) and for disinfection byproducts control (potential carcinogens). Improved chemical coagulation dose and optimization are the first line of defense for achieving both of these objectives simultaneously in existing filtration plants. Present day instrumentation and procedures are woefully inadequate. Streaming current detectors cannot be calibrated to a known reference and require highly skilled technicians to set and maintain control on course. Optimi- zation with the jar test, a trusted standard, is skill and labor intensive, and is too insensitive for many modern water treatment plants.

A fiber optical particle analyzer (FOPA) is a new sensor that is used to measure two independent coagulation re- sponses; colloid charge and floc rate. A dual-sensor instru- ment, interfaced to a computer, is potentially capable of performing both the needed functions of control and opti- mization in an automated fashion. The device is potentially rapid, and "smart" because it is based upon unique proper- ties of the coagulation process. Clear Corporation Enter- prises, Inc.'s, objective is to evaluate the feasibility of this new control/optimization concept using dual probes. Major questions addressed are: (1) how is the probe best config- ured to achieve automated, dedicated, closed-loop, on-line control, (2) how is a second ersion of the probe best configured to achieve automated optimization analysis, (3) can these dual probes truly be used to "help" each other, and (4) can this device address the pressing new regulatory drinking water requirements to both reduce particles (tur- bidity) and a portion of organic precursors leading to disinfection byproducts.

The proposed new intelligent, control/optimization in- strument is attractive because it could potentially reduce operator training demands and work load for this uniquely most critical water treatment plant operating variable- coagulation chemistry. Unlike streaming current, this de- vice is based on chemical equivalents and as such should provide a common reference and thread to greatly simplify coagulation so that it can be more effectively manipulated at existing and new facilities.

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Sustainable Industry/Business, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Monitoring/Modeling, New/Innovative technologies, Drinking Water, Engineering, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, coagulation, disinfection by-products, coagulant dose control, fiber optic particle analyzer (FOPA), disinfection byproducts (DPBs), analyzer, fiber optics, fiber optic sensor technology, optimization, disinfection byproducts (DBP), measurement, innovative technology, DBP risk management, innovative technologies, sensor, drinking water treatment, water treatment, other - risk management, sensor technology

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final