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Pollution transport in the marine environment
Seawater is a natural buffer solution that will neutralise the acids but there is significant variance in the buffering capability. The purpose of this project is to to determine the neutralisation distances of jets and plumes through experimental and computational means. Combustion engines produce exhaust gases that contain pollutants which can be harmful to the environment. Wet scrubbers are used on the exhaust gases of marine diesel engines to remove gases such as SOx and NOx. Once these gases have been scrubbed the resulting wash water is pumped into the sea which is slightly warmer than the temperature of the ambient and contains hydrochloric and nitric acid. The pH of an acidic jet or plume decreases through a combination of dilution and chemistry although chemistry is the most important element here. The volume of water used in these experiments was significant. This meant that generating triply-distilled or deionised water in such quantities was impractical. Tap water was used in all the experiments which contains a quantity of dissolved minerals giving it a nominal pH of 8.12. In both the jets and plume experiments we used highly concentrated litmus solution to identify the rapid change in pH. The experiments agreed with a proposed mathematical model. The focus will now be on developing an in house numerical code (ACEfem) further to include buoyancy and chemistry which can then be applied to a range of environmental fluid problems.
1 Researchers
  • Dept of Mechanical Engineering
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