Investigating Point-Of-Use UV-LED Water Purification Device Using Computational Multiphysics Modeling Software

Shandon L. James


The United States Air Force (USAF) often deploys personnel to remote locations or responds to disasters worldwide. Point-of-Use (PoU) ultraviolet (UV) water treatment could provide the DoD with the ability to provide water for small mobile entities that are incapable of providing the support network that larger water purification devices require. PoUs could be used as the water treatment system within the DoD for applications that include disaster response, austere locations, aircraft/helicopter survival kit or small unit for special operations teams. This research investigates the ability to use computer modeling software to predict and optimize the characteristics of a UV LED PoU water purification reactor for such applications. This research developed a working model using computational multiphysics software to predict reaction processes within a UV LED water purification reactor, and validated the model with laboratory data. The research also investigated the effect of altering the reactor geometry and the corresponding interactions with corresponding reactor rate effectiveness. The model demonstrated the ability to predict the reaction curves gathered from the lab data as well as illustrated trends in reactor geometry. When investigating the efficiency of various reactor geometries, minimizing the surface area:volume ratio was shown to result in the largest increases in efficiency. However the volume of the reactor, reflectance, and flow rates also played a role in reactor effectiveness.