Jet aerators are devices that aerate liquids and sludges with the use of small nozzles that release a jet of fluid to promote circulation in the process tank. The fluid creates turbidity and bubbles, which circulate through the mixture to aerate it evenly and reliably. Devices for jet aeration can have any number of jets, with the number usually being determined by the size of the tank. A single nozzle may be sufficient for a relatively small tank, while others may have arrays of 30 or more on a rotating boom to evenly aerate everything in the process tank.
These devices commonly rely on a chopper pump to drive the fluid through the jet. Chopper pumps macerate any solids in the fluids they process, allowing them to flow smoothly through the jets. This is important for jet aerators in tanks of sludges and mixed materials. Without the maceration, the jets might clog over time with components of the mixture, requiring the operator to stop and drain the process tank to access the jets for cleaning.
A variety of applications are suitable for jet aerators. One of the most common is sewage treatment, whether in a home septic tank or a waste water treatment plant. Aeration is critical to promote the development of beneficial bacteria to quickly break down the waste water and speed the treatment process. While anaerobic organisms can eventually process these materials, they take much longer, and can produce a number of strong odors. It is also possible for pathogens to thrive in the mixture, which is undesirable.
Companies can also use jet aerators to process various food products and chemicals, and in the treatment of a variety of mixtures. The jets can be of varying sizes and may have adjustable angles to handle different environments. Whether fixed or mounted on a rotating boom, they provide even and appropriate coverage to aerate an entire mixture. In the event the jet aerators become clogged, as can happen periodically even with a chopper pump, the operator can drain and flush the tank to remove clots of material.
Manufacturers of jet aerators and components can produce custom versions for specific applications. They are usually made from minimally reactive materials, as they may be used in processes that involve corrosive or harsh chemicals. If there are specific concerns related to how the aerators will be used, the manufacturer can develop an appropriate custom product that should be safe and reliable.