Article | May 8, 2023

Alpha Gone Astray: How To Ensure An Aeration Design Will Work

Source: KLa Systems

Engineers designing wastewater treatment systems for municipal and industrial applications are familiar with the importance of the alpha factor. The alpha factor is calculated by taking the overall mass coefficient (KLa) of dirty water of dirty water and dividing it by the KLa of clean water. This is one of the most important considerations when determining the size of an aeration system and can have major implications on the capital and operating cost of the aeration system.

There are many things that can affect the alpha factor of a wastewater treatment system. Even the most careful engineer can overlook something that can impede oxygen transfer. This can include substances used during production, maintenance, and other stages of wastewater treatment. Failing to take these factors into account can cause the treatment systems to underperform, which can result in unexpected costs in the form of excess energy use and possible system upgrades.


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