Numerical Simulation of Photocatalytic Degradation of Terbuthylazine in a Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, Shanghai 200093, P R China


A mathematical model is presented to simulate the photocatalytic degradation of terbuthylazine in a continuous stirred tank reactor. The flow field is described by the continuity equation and the momentum equation. An advection-diffusion-reaction equation is used to simulate the transport of terbuthylazine.  The chemical reactions take place on the inner wall surface coated with the catalyst, which is described by a third-kind boundary condition.  A transient differential equation is used to describe the variation of inlet concentration with time. All governing equations are solved using the commercial computational fluid software ANSYS Fluent. The simulation results agree with the experimental data at different temperatures and different flow rates. The radial distribution of terbuthylazine in the reactor is discussed in detail. The velocity depicts a parabolic curve with a maximum velocity of  0.0005 m s-1, 0.001 m s-1, 0.00022 m s-1 and 0.0032 m s-1 for 50 mL min-1, 100 mL min-1, 200 mL min-1, and 300 mL min-1, respectively. At the flow rate of 300 mL min-1, concentration of terbuthylazine decreases from 3.6 mg dm-3 to 0.8 mg dm-3 whereas concentration of cyanuric acid increases from 0.05 mg dm-3 to 0.28 mg dm-3. It shows that the radial effect of velocity and concentration should be taken into account. The mathematical model used in this study is suitable for simulating the photocatalytic degradation process of terbuthylazine in continuous stirred tank reactors.


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