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Improving the Performance of Airlift Pumps Operating at Low Submergence Ratios

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Title: Improving the Performance of Airlift Pumps Operating at Low Submergence Ratios
Author: Abed, Rashal
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Engineering
Advisor: Ahmed, Wael
Abstract: Airlift pumps are designed to simultaneously move and oxygenate water. In recent years, their sustainable operation allowed them to gain popularity in the aquaculture and food industries. Improving the performance of airlift pumps at low submergence ratios could broaden their applications to industries like vertical farming. This thesis presents a comprehensive experimental investigation of a dual-injector airlift pump to improve performance and aeration capabilities for low submergence ratios. Oxygenation experiments found that the radial injector provided improved aeration at low airflow rates, while the axial injector had better aeration at high airflow rates. Further analysis suggested that pulsating injection methods could substantially improve performance. Experiments conducted at various injection modes and frequencies found that pulsation improved the efficiency of the pump, particularly at lower submergence ratios. This research is a step towards improving the design guidelines of airlift pumps, expanding their operational capabilities for the benefits of vertical farming applications.
Date: 2021-03
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Embargoed Until: 2022-05-04

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