A new task group is being established to enhance our understanding and representation of physicochemical processes. These reactions occur naturally in aquatic environments, without the need for a microbial mediator. They are commonly used across the water industry cycle. Important examples include the use of alum for coagulation and phosphorous removal, unintentional scaling, gas transfer, and acid-base reactions. While an enormous amount of effort has been expended in developing and applying biological process models, models of physicochemical reactions are generally rudimentary and empirical. This greatly limits our ability to effectively manipulate and utilize these processes. In fact, the fundamentals are reasonably well known, but have not been systematically assessed in the water and wastewater area. The task group will develop a physicochemical framework with high predictive capacity that is usable across the range of unit operations by both modelers and end-users.
The task group composition is currently being finalised, but includes representatives from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the USA, and is well represented by both industrial practitioners and academics. The task group is associated with the SG of Modelling Integrated Assessment, and is being presented at the IWA modelling conference WWTMod.