Investigation and Minimisation of Gas Odour in Reticulation Sewer Networks

Location: Liverpool, NSW

Duration: 5 months

Project Background

H2S (hydrogen sulfide) and water vapour are the principal components of wastewater gas. However, H2S is only one of many odour components in typical sewer gases. Wastewater gas is responsible for odour complaints and corrosion, which cause billions of dollars of asset damage each year worldwide.

Reticulated sewer environments are very complex and variable. No consensus currently exists as to what constitutes a representative reticulated sewer environment and how variations such as liquid flow rates, pipe diameter, pipe gradient and other variables effect H2S gas flow rates.

This project will establish the standard conditions which may be found in reticulated sewer environments and how such on-site variables effect H2S and other gas flow rates. This is an important focus for SVSR, as they seek to understand current efficacy for gas-phase (i.e. “odour”) sulfide control; and future environmental sustainability. Initial experiments conducted at SVSR explored a filter media which adsorbs hydrogen sulphide (H2S). On-site trials are necessary, but the site environment is difficult to characterise.

This project will provide evidence to inform SVSR on strategic actions and future research.

We are seeking a candidate with a background in science, engineering, or fluid dynamics, with demonstrated experience in literature review and data analysis (preferably field-related environmental data). The successful candidate will work on this project in collaboration with SVSR and collaboration team of academics. The candidate will be Involved in field work for the collection of samples.

Research to be Conducted

The key research questions of this research project are:

  • Are there conditions which constitute a representative environment for reticulated sewer networks and how do variations change gas flow rates?
  • Is there a site with predictable representative conditions, suitable for field trials?
  • Are there alternative approaches to passive ventilation for reducing H2S in reticulated sewer networks, while still maintaining adequate gas flow rates from sewer to atmosphere?
  • Since H2S tends to be created in sewers in anaerobic conditions, particularly at night when sewer liquid flows are reduced, the H2S levels may be reduced by increasing airflow in the system. How to achieve this in practice with the site conditions, e.g. electric fans can ignite the explosive gases.

Skills Required

If you’re a PhD student and meet some or all the below we want to hear from you. We strongly encourage women, indigenous and disadvantaged candidates to apply:

  • Undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in either:
    • Science with a major in Physics, Chemistry, Microbiology, Mathematics or similar
    • Engineering with a focus on Chemical, Civil and/or Environmental Engineering
      A strong interest in finding practical, real-world solutions in the field of wastewater processing
  • Previous experience and/or knowledge of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), gas-phase thermodynamics, membranes and materials science, water and wastewater treatment, sustainability and Life Cycle Assessments (LCA’s), statistics and modelling
  • Valid drivers license preferred. This is as the project involves research experiments in field locations, where public transport is not accessible

Expected Outcomes

  • A literature review on the state of knowledge of ventilation in reticulated sewer networks
  • Support the analysis of emerging data on variations in such networks and their impact on gas flow rates
  • Development of a report and journal paper
  • Support the development of an options paper for future research & development

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner.  The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

Applications Close

27 November 2019

Reference

APR – 1285