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Coagulation Job Aid Part 2

Unit 1: Primary Coagulants


Table 1-1 Common Coagulation Chemicals
Chemical
Alum (Aluminum
Sulfate)

Purpose
Primary coagulant
(most commonly
used)

Coagulation Properties

Mechanism of coagulation: Charge neutralization and sweep


coagulation

Forms a white floc

Every 1 mg/L of alum added to water:

o Consumes 0.5 mg/L alkalinity


o Produces 0.26 mg/L of insoluble Al(OH)3 precipitate

Ferric chloride

Primary Coagulant

Alum does not produce as much sludge as ferric chloride

Alum is a strong acid

pH: Optimum pH range is slightly more limited compared to other


coagulants (see Table 1-2 below).

Not as corrosive as ferric chloride (Recommended storage:


stainless steel SS316, PVC, or fiberglass)

Longer shelf life than other coagulants (exceeds 12 months)

Mechanism of coagulation: Charge neutralization and sweep


coagulation

Forms a reddish-brown floc that is strong and dense

Every 1 mg/L of FeCl3 added to water:

o Consumes 1 mg/L alkalinity


o Produces 0.66 mg/L of insoluble Fe(OH)3 precipitate

Since ferric chloride produces more precipitate than alum, it also


produces more sludge

Ferric chloride is an even stronger acid than alum.

pH: Works over a wider pH range than alum (see Table 1-2
below)

Very corrosive (aluminum, brass, and stainless steel are readily


attacked)

Recommended storage: Fiberglass-reinforced polyester or


rubber-lined steel tanks.

Polyaluminum
chloride (PAC)

Cationic polymer

Primary Coagulant

Primary coagulant
or coagulant aid

Mechanism of coagulation: Charge neutralization

Highly positive charge when added to water

Very precise dosage required

PAC is more effective if it is fed neat, rather than diluted

Slightly higher cost, but less coagulant is used

Effective in colder water

pH: Effective across a wide pH range (see Table 1-2 below)

Minimal effect on pH and alkalinity when added

Shelf-life is a little shorter than other coagulants (< 12 months)

Forms positive ions in water (most frequently used as a coagulant


aid, but can be used as a primary coagulant)

Mechanism of coagulation: Bridging or charge neutralization

Table 1-2 Coagulant pH Ranges*


Chemical

Effective pH Range

Optimum pH range**

5.5 to 8.5

6.5 to 7.5

4 to 11

5 to 8

4.5 to 9.5

4.5 to 9.5

Alum
Ferric Chloride
Polyaluminum chloride

* Ranges are listed for best particle removal, not necessarily disinfection byproduct control
** Optimum refers to the pH after the coagulant is mixed

Unit 2: Other Coagulation Chemicals


Table 2-1 Common Coagulant Aids
Chemical

Purpose

Non-ionic polymer

Anionic polymer

Coagulation Properties

Coagulant aid

Coagulant aid

Cationic polymer

Primary coagulant
or coagulant aid

Activated silica

Coagulant aid

Clays (bentonite or
kaolinite)

Coagulant aid

Forms positive and negative ions in water

Mechanism of coagulation: Bridging

Forms negative ions in water

Mechanism of coagulation: Bridging

Forms positive ions in water (most frequently used as a coagulant


aid, but can be used as a primary coagulant)

Mechanism of coagulation: Bridging or charge neutralization

Mostly used as a coagulant aid for alum

Added after alum, because activated silica will react with alum if
added together

Useful in treating water that is low in turbidity

Table 2-2 Alkalinity and pH Adjustment Chemicals

Chemical

For every 1 mg/L of chemical (in


the 1st column) added, alkalinity
will increase by:

Affect on pH

Caustic Soda, NaOH

1.55 mg/L CaCO3

Raises pH

85% Quicklime, CaO

1.52 mg/L CaCO3

Raises pH

95% Hydrated Lime, Ca(OH)3

1.28 mg/L CaCO3

Raises pH

Soda Ash, Na2CO3

0.90 mg/L CaCO3

Moderate increase in pH

Sodium Bicarbonate, NaHCO3

0.60 mg/L CaCO3

Little increase in pH

Table 2-3 Other pH Adjustment Chemicals


Acids

Sulfuric acid

Bases
Sodium hydroxide

Hydrochloric acid