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The modelling of water treatment process tanks.

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dc.contributor.author Van der Walt, Jeremia Jesaja
dc.date.accessioned 2008-05-27T13:41:48Z
dc.date.available 2008-05-27T13:41:48Z
dc.date.issued 2008-05-27T13:41:48Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/471
dc.description.abstract As a young child, my father once told me that it is impossible to know and understand everything. At first I did not believe him, but as I grew up, I realised why he said it. This realisation did not, however, dawn on me overnight. During my training many textbooks and lecturers painted the picture of a world that can be described by a few simple laws. When I finished my training and started to work as a water engineer, I realised that this was only an illusion. The difference between theory and practise was bigger than I thought. I eventually came to the realisation, through the wisdom of many others, that this gap between theory and reality is not only due to the limitations of science and technology, but also to beliefs. Often these beliefs are so intertwined with science and technology that the scientists and technologists themselves are not aware of it. This study attempts to explain why differences between theory and practise exist. The modelling of water treatment process tanks is used as a vehicle to demonstrate this. In the process it is shown that scientists and technologists cannot use models in a responsible manner without also considering the broader philosophical aspects. My personal most satisfying contribution was to demonstrate the influence of philosophical views on process tank design methods. The study also makes original contributions in the field of water treatment process tank modelling. Computational Fluid Dynamic models are used in an attempt to understand water treatment process tanks better. This modelling technique applies a combination of scientific, technological and modelling concepts. An appropriate question by many technical readers will be why a significant portion of this text includes philosophical concepts if the title of the study deals with process tank modelling? First the arguments presented and the process of argumentation, can assist many scientists and engineers to develop a much broader view of science, technology and models. A second reason for this inclusion is the background it gives to where theories originated and how they were developed. Most importantly, however, the realisation of the inherent shortcomings of theories came much later and this is the third reason for its inclusion. It deals with exposing invalid assumptions and misconceptions that are held in the design of some process tanks. These misconceptions often originate from a philosophical view rather than a scientific observation. The fourth reason is to demonstrate the importance of normative aspects in the practise of science and technology. Finally, it can also benefit philosophers in the sense that they can see how philosophy can be applied to very practical problems. A need that is unsatisfied in many scientific and technical fields. en
dc.description.sponsorship Prof. J. Haarhoff en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject tank design en
dc.subject tanks en
dc.subject fluid dynamics en
dc.title The modelling of water treatment process tanks. en
dc.type Thesis en

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