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Rheological and fractal hydrodynamics of aerobic granules

Tijani, H.I., Abdullah, N., Yuzir, A., Ujang, Zaini
Bioresource technology 2015 v.186 pp. 276-285
fractal dimensions, geometry, granules, hydrodynamics, porosity, quantitative analysis, rheological properties, surface area
The structural and hydrodynamic features for granules were characterized using settling experiments, predefined mathematical simulations and ImageJ-particle analyses. This study describes the rheological characterization of these biologically immobilized aggregates under non-Newtonian flows. The second order dimensional analysis defined as D2=1.795 for native clusters and D2=1.099 for dewatered clusters and a characteristic three-dimensional fractal dimension of 2.46 depicts that these relatively porous and differentially permeable fractals had a structural configuration in close proximity with that described for a compact sphere formed via cluster–cluster aggregation. The three-dimensional fractal dimension calculated via settling-fractal correlation, U∝lD to characterize immobilized granules validates the quantitative measurements used for describing its structural integrity and aggregate complexity. These results suggest that scaling relationships based on fractal geometry are vital for quantifying the effects of different laminar conditions on the aggregates’ morphology and characteristics such as density, porosity, and projected surface area.