168
THEORY
OF
SEDIMENTATION
Combining eqn.
(4)
and (6) the slope of such a curve is given byAs
p,
and therefore
V,
is
a constant along the curve, it must be a straight line.Therefore, on an
x
against
t
diagram, the concentration is constant along straightlines whose slope
V
depends only on the value of the concentration. One suchline passes through every point in the diagram below the top of the dispersion,and in
a
region where the density is continuous the correct pattern of lines is suchthat no two lines intersect. This simple result forms the basis of our analysis
of
the settling process using this diagram. It can be expressed in another form,which is discussed more fully in
$4.
This states that a particular value of the concentration is propagated upwards through the dispersion with a velocity
V
givenby eqn.
(5).
mentation process in detail for a dispersion where the initial concentration increases towards the bottom and
V
decreases with increasing
p
in the concentrationrange covered during the settling. The reasons for these limitations appear later.The
x
against t diagram, together with lines of constant concentration forsuch a process. is shown in fig.
l(a).
These lines have been drawn accordingto the following arguments. The initial values
of
the concentration determine
p
along the xaxis. Then
a
line
KP
of constant concentration has a slope dx/dt
=
V
determined by
p
at the point
K
where it intersects the xaxis. If the top of thedispersion
is
at
x
=
H,
and the concentration increases from
p
=
pa
at
x
=
H
to
p
=
pb
where
x
=
0
in a known manner, then all the lines crossing the
xaxis
can be drawn. Since
V
decreases with increasing
p
they diverge as they leave thexaxis. The line
OB
in fig.
l(a)
is the line of concentration
pb.
The equation ofany line
KP,
which crosses the xaxis at
XO,
the value of
x
where the concentrationis
p
at
t=
0,
is
(84
if
pa
<
p
<
pb.
Since
xg
is a known function of
p
this equation gives the concentration at any point
x
in the dispersion at time
t,
provided that
(x,
)
lies inthe regionAOB.We now calculate where these lines
of
constant concentration terminate, thatis to say, the position of the curve
AB
representing the fall of the top of the
dis
persion. At any point
P,
since the speed of fall of the surface is that of the particles in
it,
then along
AB
Expressing
p
in terms of
x
and
t
by means
of
eqn.
(8a)
we obtain
a
differentialequation for
x
in terms of
t
which can be integrated to give the curve of fall.However, the following method leads to the integral in a more direct manner.The line
KP
represents the rise through the dispersion with velocity
V
of alevel, across which particles of concentration
p
fall with velocity
~(p)
ownwards.In time
t
from the start the number of particles which have crossed this levelis
p(V
+
v)t
per unit area. The level reaches the surface at the point
P
when thisnumber equals the total number of particles
It
originally above the level
K.
Usingthe initial distribution
of
particles this isdx/dt
=
V(p).
(7)
3.
THE
EDIMENTATION
OF
A
DISPERSION.In this section we describe the sedi
x
=
xo
+
VG)t
(dxldt)
=

(p).
(9)
H
xo
n(xo>
=
1
pdxo.
(1
04
(1
la)
We thus derive the equationwhere
n
can be expressed as a function of
p.
To
determine the coordinates
of
P(x,
t)
in the surface we now have two equations
(8a)
and
(lla).*
*
The fall
of
any other layer of particles
not
at the
top
can
be
found in the same way,using instead
of
n
the amount
of
material above the levelxo and
below
the
given
layer.
n(xo)
=
p
.
(V
+
v)t,
D o w n l o a d e d b y U n i v e r s i d a d e F e d e r a l R u r a l d o R i o d e J a n e i r o o n 0 3 N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 1 P u b l i s h e d o n 0 1 J a n u a r y 1 9 5 2 o n h t t p : / / p u b s . r s c . o r g  d o i : 1 0 . 1 0 3 9 / T F 9 5 2 4 8 0 0 1 6 6
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