Computerised interpolation algorithms as well as the empirical model for analysing the flocculent
settling data were developed. A mechanistic semi-empirical model developed from fundamental
physical principles of a falling particle in a viscous fluid was tested against actual flocculation column
data. The accuracy of the mechanistic model was evaluated using the sum of the squared errors
between the interpolated values (real values) and the model predictions. Its fitting capabilities were
compared with Özer’s model using nine flocculent data sets of which four were obtained from
literature and the rest was actual data from the performed experiments. The developed model
consistently simulated the flocculation behaviour of particles in settling columns better than Özer’s
model in eight of the nine data sets considered. It is recommended that the model’s performance be
further compared with other models like the Rule based and San’s model. The errors due to the use of
interpolated values when determining the performance of the empirical models need to be investigated.
Furthermore, a three-way rather than two-way interpolation should now be achievable using the
interpolation algorithm developed in this study thereby reducing the effects of interpolation bias. The
above work opens the way to full automation of design of flocculation sedimentation basins and other
gravitational particle separation systems which at present are designed manually and are susceptible to
a wide range of human and random errors.