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Coagulation-flocculation

Suspended solids and colloids


Three categories of impurities whose elimination is targeted by water treatment:
- suspended solids (sand, silt, plankton, organic debris...);
- colloidal matter (fine clay, protozoa cysts, bacteria, macromolecules...);
- dissolved matter (OM, salts, gases, heavy metals ...)(e.g. humic acids responsible for
colouring water ; viruses, that are almost always carried by the suspended solids and
colloids found in water )

The first two are responsible for turbidity, the latter two for colour and the last one for
salinity and various other water properties.
Colloidal suspensions - The need for coagulation
Colloidal suspension stability
Table 1 lists some matter or organisms with their dimensions and the timescale required by
these particles to fall vertically through one meter of water at 20 C solely under the influence
of their weight.

Table 1 demonstrates that colloids are particles:


- that cannot be settled naturally;
- that have a very large specific surface area that governs their suspension stability in
water.
In fact, in order to obtain faster sedimentation rates, a very large number of colloids must be
gathered together to form aggregates measuring at least 10 to 100 m; however, these colloids
apply an electrostatic type repulsion force against each other, preventing them from
agglomerating consequently, their suspension can remain quite stable.
Twin layer theory
Colloids present in raw water usually have very high negative charges (due to flaws in the
crystalline network, and ionisation affecting peripheral chemical groups). In order to neutralise
this negative surface charge, positive ions (called "counter ions"), present in or added to raw
water, are attracted and gather to form a layer around the colloid. A range of theories have been
put forward (figure 1):
- the Helmholtz theory: the colloid surface is completely encased in a layer of positive
ions thus ensuring that the assembly remains neutral (attached layer);
- the Gouy-Chapman theory: a layer of positive ions is unevenly distributed round the
colloid; neutrality is achieved at a greater distance (diffuse layer);
- the Stern theory that combines the two foregoing theories and entertains the formation
of a twin layer: the first is formed of ions from the liquid and adheres to the colloid; the
second layer diffuses through the liquid that directly surrounds the colloid. As
illustrated in figure 1 (curve 3), the potential is subject to a major initial drop in the
attached layer and then decreases slowly as the distance increases, until it cancels out at
point A (isoelectric point).

The Zeta potential


A colloid has two potentials (figure 1):
- E: thermodynamic potential also known as the Nernst potential, which is present on
the actual surface of the colloid but which cannot be measured using simple methods;
- Z: potential on the surface of the attached layer also known as the electroki-netic
potential or Zeta potential (pZ). As already stated, this potential remains negative. The
charge in the ions on the attached layer does not balance out the negative charges on the
colloid surface. This potential governs the reciprocal interaction between colloids and
can be measured through electrophoresis; in effect, when a colloid is subjected to an
electrical field, it reaches a velocity such that a balance is established between the
electrical attraction force to the anode and the friction force created by the medium's
viscosity. The equation linking this velocity (electrophoretic mobility) and the Zeta
potential is written as follows:

me: electrophoretic mobility (|i,m s"1 V"1),


: medium's dielectric constant,
: dynamic viscosity
k: based on particle diameter and on twin layer thickness.
It should be noted that, by definition, particles that have the same Zeta electro-kinetic
potential will have the same electrophoretic mobility, regardless of their diameter.
The Zetameter is the apparatus used to measure Zeta potential.

Colloidal suspension destabilisation mechanism: Coagulation


When two colloidal particles approach each other, they are subjected to two major types of
force acting in opposing directions (figure 2):
- Van de Vaals force (gravitational) ( FA ), linked to the specific surface area, to colloid
mass and to the nature of the medium;
- electrostatic repulsion force (F R ), linked to colloid surface charges and, therefore to
their pZ.
Their resultant F = FA + FR is, on the one hand, much greater than that of gravity which can,
therefore, be ignored, and, on the other, will govern whether or not aggregation occurs if (in
absolute values) F A >F R , or repulsion occurs FR > FA

The second case (repulsion) is the one found in natural water, hence the stability of colloidal
suspensions. On the right hand side of figure 2, we can see that the change in the resultant force
creates an "energy barrier" in the vicinity of the particles.
Therefore, in order to destabilise the suspension (coagulation), we need tc decrease
electrostatic repulsion forces and this involves neutralising colloid surface charges: this is what
happens when we add a so called "coagulant" into the water (figure 3).
In the twin layer theory, optimum coagulation can be defined as adding a reagent that
enables the Zeta potential to be cancelled out.
Aggregations stages
Factors that influence coagulation
Therefore, coagulation is the destabilisation of colloidal particles though additio-of a
chemical reagent, the coagulant, which provides the medium with multivalent cations that are
either free or bonded to an organic macromolecule (cationic pok electrolyte). These cations are
adsorbed and attached in the first Stern layer; the pZ then rises (figure 3) until it reaches zero or
a negligible figure as neutralisation of al the particle's electronegative charges is achieved
(figure 7).

It should be noted that, in order to be effective, the coagulant must be dispersed immediately
through the water in order to achieve an even distribution and that this must occur before any
hydroxide precipitates. To achieve this, we need to dissipate a high level of energy over a short
time or, in other terms, use a very steep velocity gradient.
Underturbulent conditions, the velocity gradient is defined by the following formula:
G= K =Kj-
yv-n vv
G: mean velocity gradient (s_1),
P: power actually dissipated (W),
V: space occupied by the fluid (m3),
\x: dynamic viscosity (Pa s).
G is particularly dependant on temperature via the constant K (table 2).
1.1.3.2. Flocculation

This is when particles agglomerate (after having "been neutralised") into micro-floc through
bridging or assisted by hydroxides produced as the mineral coagulant hydrolyses c-by means of
the macromolecules r the cationic polyelectrolyte. Microflo: then comes together to form increas
ingly voluminous flakes that can se: tie, floe. This flocculation can be enhanced by adding
another reagent the flocculation additive, more simply known as the flocculant.
In fact, the successive aggregatic-steps that lead to the formation of floe depend on two transport
phenomena that govern flocculation rate:
- perikinetic flocculation linked to the Brownian diffusion (thermal agitation)
where all particles have the same kinetic energy and, therefore, the smallest
have the highest velocities, ensuring a greater probability of the floes coming
together. Flocculation rate or the variation in the number of particles that have
agglomerated over a period of time is provided by:

n: number of particles per unit of volume,


a: effective collision fraction,
k: Boltzmann constant,
T: absolute temperature.
This law only applies to small particles measuring less than 10 [im. This law describes how
microfloc is formed; we need to note the effect of particle "density" (n) and of temperature;
- orthokinetic flocculation is related to the mechanical energy dissipated in the
flocculation zone. Please refer to table 3 for details on the effectiveness of this
flocculation which produces a voluminous floe that can be separated.

The velocity gradient is also a very important flocculation rate parameter.


In flocculation, the velocity gradient acts on the floe aggregation probability, but cannot
excessively increase this probability. Indeed, when G reaches excessively high figures, the floe
that has formed will undergo mechanical shear, causing its destruction. The normally
acceptable values for G are:
- in coagulation: 400, or even 1,000 s~1;
- in flocculation: approximately 100 s~1 and less as soon as floe size exceeds one
millimetre.
1.1.3.3. Coagulation and flocculation times
The coagulation time is typically measured in seconds whereas flocculation time is typically
measured in minutes (typical example: 3 seconds - 20 minutes).
The application of the flocculation reaction can be characterised by the G-^ (^ = contact time)
a dimension less parameter. A flocculation test can be used to determine the value of , (see
chap. 5 4.1.2.).
1.1.3.4. Summing up the phenomena
Table 4 summarises the various successive or simultaneous phases leading to the formation of
floe from a colloidal suspension.
1.1.4. Coagulants
1.1.4.1. Trivalent cations
Coagulation becomes even more efficient as the cation valency rises (Schulze-Hardy theory):
C = k-z"6
where C: reagent demand,
z: valency of the counter ion used;
thus, a trivalent ion will be approximately ten times more effective than a divalent ion. Also,
in practice, trivalent aluminium or iron salts have been and continue to be widely used in all
water coagulation treatments.
Effect of the pH
As a result of their hydrolysis, mineral coagulants alter the physical-chemical properties of
the water to be treated (pH, M-alk., conductivity):

Furthermore, the optimum pH is a compromise between:


- the pH required for coagulation (linked to the nature of the colloids and to their
isoelectrical point);
- the pH required for flocculation (linked to the growth of the aluminium or iron
hydroxide floe - table 5). In general, it refers to the minimum solubility of the hydroxide
concerned (also required in order to ensure that the minimum amount of metal is
dissolved in water, according to applicable potability standards).

-
- This pH and minimum solubility are strongly affected by the ionic force and by the
presence of organic compounds such as humic acids.
- If necessary, an acid or a base will have to be used to adjust the coagulation pH.
- Treatment rate
- A flocculation test will establish the appropriate treatment rate. It can be adjusted
through a study of the Zeta potential (see chap. 5 4.1.2.).
- "Ideal" coagulation occurs at pZ = 0, ensuring optimum elimination of all particles (clay
turbidity, micro algae...); in drinking water treatment, the thorough elimination of dissolved
OM may require a higher level of treatment. An amount of coagulant that is progressively
higher than that which will cancel out the pZ will initially cause residual turbidity to appear
(figure 4, using arbitrary units = UA) by reversing charges (trivalent cations cause pZ to
become positive) before removing this turbidity by capturing the colloids in the excess floe
("sweep coagulation"); this coagulation mode is sometimes applied while at the same time
using H2S04to lower the pH (" enhanced coagulation", applied in particular to ensure thorough
elimination of the organic precursors of oxidation byproducts).
- On the other hand, the term "micro flocculation" is sometimes used in the sense of a
short flocculation period used to form small size floe measuring 1 to 2 mm in diameter, but
sufficiently voluminous to allow the floe to be separated in a flotation unit or through filters. In
direct filtration mode, a reduced amount of coagulant may also be used.
-
- Sludge production
- The formation of metal hydroxide leads to the production of large amounts o* sludge.
In its untreated form, this sludge is rarely suitable for discharge into the natural environment
and, therefore, must be treated (see chap. 18 and chap. 22 1.10.).
- 1.1.4.2. Organic coagulants
- When sometimes used instead of or in addition to mineral coagulants, these cationic
polymers will neutralise negative colloids directly through their positive charges. Their
adsorption to the surface of these colloids will allow a bridging effect and, therefore
flocculation, to occur at the same time. One of the main benefits will be the significantly
reduced volume of sludge produced (no hydroxides
- 1.1.5. Flocculation additives (or flocculants)
- In order to enhance flocculation, mineral (activated silica) or natural (starch, alginate)
polymers were first used. However, the appearance of synthetic polymers (very long
macromolecules that tend to be adsorbed over microfloc ana therefore, to connect them
together) has led to major developments in floccula tion performance, creating larger floe that
has greater shear resistance.
- As in the case of the coagulant, the optimum treatment level required will be
determined by flocculation tests (designated jar-test, see chap. 5 4.1.2.2.), supplemented, if
necessary, by sludge settleability tests.
- The interval separating the injection of coagulant and the injection of flocculant is
crucial: In effect, a flocculant is only effective when the micro-flocculation phase has been
completed. This interval is based on a number of factors (water composition, temperature...)
and must be established through experimentation in each case.
- The use of synthetic flocculants produces far lower volumes of sludge; combined with
modern separation methods (e.g. Densadeg, see chap. 10), it can produce thickened sludge that
is suitable, therefore, for immediate processing in a dewatering unit.
- T 7.6. Effect of pre-oxidation
- Prechlorination (e.g. in seawater) and in particular, pre-ozonation have been
recognised as assisting the coagulation-flocculation mechanism. At this point, we can refer to
the destruction or, at least, the desorption of the organic film that surrounds some colloidal
particles and thus prevents the destabilising cations from attaching. Moreover, low amounts of
ozone (< 1 g-m-3) will reduce the number of particles and increase the gramme-molecular
weight of some organic compounds (reticulation), that will also have favorable action on
coagulation. This is typically the case of water that is rich in organic matter and algae or in
organic matter that sequesters iron or manganese; in the latter case, ozone will destroy organic
complexes and oxidise the metal ions that are thus released.
- 1.2. Typical reagents
- Coagulation and flocculation reagents are simple or polymerised mineral salts, and
organic, natural or artificial polymers. Tables in chap. 8 3.5.1. and chap. 8 3.5.7. summarise
the properties of the commercially available forms of the different reagents.
- 12 1. Mineral coagulants
- The reactions described in this paragraph are summarised versions of the various
reactions involved. All the products formed are soluble with the exception of A
(OH)3andFe(OH)3.
- Because of:
- their harmlessness (sometimes questioned in some countries with regard to aluminium:
the, as yet unproven, part they play in Alzheimer disease);
- effectiveness (trivalent cations) with a minimum solubility in the region of a pH 7;
- cost.
- The main coagulants used are based on aluminium or iron salts. In some cases,
synthetic products such as cationic polyelectrolytes (described further on) can also be used.
- 1.2.1.1. Aluminium salts
- SIMPLE SALTS
- The basic reaction, when the A3+ ion is added to water, consists of the formation of an
aluminium hydroxide precipitate and the release of a degree of acidity (hydrolysis):
-

-
- This acidity reacts with certain species in solution, especially bicarbonate ions
(hydrogen carbonates):
-

-
- The overall reaction is:
-

-
- If the raw water's buffering capacity (M-alk.) is not sufficient, this acidity must be
compensated when adding the coagulant by also adding a base (sodium hydroxide, lime,
sodium carbonate).
- In fact, these are only overall reactions; the actual mechanisms are more complex and
will involve forms that are halfway between the A3+ ion and hydroxide A(OH)3, in the
following form:

-
-

-
- These ions can also hydrate themselves, according to the following general formula:

-
- Such complex ions then undergo polymerisation through an olation reaction that
consists in the bridging of OH hydroxyls:
-
- The diversity of polymers likely to form according to local conditions (pH, temperature,
dissolved salts, quantity and nature of colloids...), ranges frorr
- A6(OH)fc and A7(OH)?7 t0 A^fOH)8^ (which refers to the general formula
- An(OH)p3n-p'+), which explains the differences in flocculation found between one water
and another.
- Obviously, these phenomena are not independent of those applicable to the
neutralisation of the suspended solids loading in raw water: in fact, these are complex ions that
tend to migrate to the surface of the particles, generating turbidity, allowing these particles to
be thoroughly mixed into the floe as it forms; therefore, floe formation can be regarded as
hydroxo-aluminous complexes forming bridges between the initial colloids found in raw water.
- The most common reagents used are:
- aluminium sulphate, either crystallised: A2(S04)3, 14 or 18 H20, or liquid: 600 or 720
g-L"1 solution of crystallised aluminium sulphate 18H20; commonly called "Alum".
- liquid aluminium chloride AC3 (effective but rare)
- liquid aluminate A203, n NaOH which in fact hydrolyses to produce MO~
accompanied by more or less excess NaOH.
- As already explained, when sulphates, chlorides or even A sulphate chloride are
hydrolysed, this process releases acidity that needs to be neutralised by breaking down
bicarbonates. The pH will fall more or less rapidly (outside the optimum pH zone...) depending
on the water's buffer capability, according to the globat reaction (e.g. with sulphate, the most
common case):
- A2(S04)3 + 3Ca(HC03)2 -> 3CaS04 + 2M(OH)3 + 6C02. (4)
- From this, we can deduce the following:
- 10 mg L"1 of commercially available alum 18 H20 (0.81 mg L"1 as A)
- reduces M-alk. by 0.45 F (4.5 mg L~ 1 CaC03) and increase sulphates by the same
amount;
- forms 2.35 mg LT1 of M. hydroxide;
- releases 4 mg L"1 of C02
- and, in the event of an excessively low M-alk., in the above example, we have to add
3.33 mg L"1 (0.45 F) of hydrated lime Ca(OH)2 in order to keep the pH within the
optimum zone (see also 13. Remineralisation).
- When using aluminate, on the other hand, we may have to use an acid to neutralise its
sodium alkalinity; additionally, the reagent is expensive and this restricts its use to
combined clarification/silica removal (see 2.2.). ALUMINIUM POLYMERS
- The preceding aluminium salts, if partially rendered alkaline by adding OH" before they
are used, will "prepolymerise" hydroxide chains, leaving many A 3+ sites available for
coagulation.
-------------------------------------------------------Having the overall formula An(OH)p(C)3n_p
(aluminium polychlorides) or
An(OH)p(C)q(S04)r (aluminium polychlorosulphates), these aluminium poly
mers can be identified by their molar ratio R = = . The higher this ratio, the
- n A longer the chains and the more effective
the reagent's flocculating capability, rapidly producing a dense (cohesive) floe of a good size;
however, the greater R becomes, the more the product becomes unstable; in practice, R is
usually restricted to the 0.4 to 0.6 range.
- There are many commercially available products that are constantly being upgraded. On
the French market, we can mention PAC, PACS, WAC, WAC-HB, PAX-XL9...
- BAPC (basic aluminium polychloride)
- If we want to increase R even further, the product has to be prepared immediately
before use and then R can reach figures > 2, making rapid flocculation possible with a
minimum treatment level and satisfactory removal of organic matter.
- Unfortunately, the product is not easily prepared in situ and, up until now, this drawback
has prevented the widespread use of this reagent
- 1.2.1.2. Iron salts
- Ferric salts are the most frequently used iron salts. The overall reaction is the same as
that for aluminium salts:
-

-
- and, for instance, with ferric chloride in water with calcium alkalinity:

-
- With iron salts, we have the same problems relating to the consumption o* M-alk.
and/or alkaline products that have to be added in order to maintain ph within the optimum
range (which is, however, much more extensive than the range applicable to A salts).
- The following forms are commercially available:
- sublimated FeG3 or crystallised FeC3, 6H20 ferric chlorides and most frequently
liquid at 600 g L"1 of FeC3 (41 % by weight);
- crystallised iron sulphate Fe2(S04)3, 9H20 in powder form and even chlorinated
copperas;
- ferrous sulphate FeSC>4, 7H20 in powder form; however, this reagent has to be
oxidised (Fe2+ > Fe3+), often by C2, before use at a pH close to neutral: furthermore,
FeS04, an industrial by-product, is rarely of the grade required for drinking water or
even industrial water processing.
- Similarly, reaction (6) allows us to anticipate the fact that 10 mg L" 1 of a 41 =:
commercial solution of ferric chloride, for instance, will lower M-alk. by 0.38 =F (3.8 mg L"1
CaC03), increase chlorides by the same amount, form 2.7 mg L"1 o; Fe(OH)3 and release 3.3
mg L"1 of C02.
- The absence of iron prepolymer on the market should be noted.
- On the other hand, the ferrate ion (sodium ferrate or preferably potassium ferrate
because the latter is more stable) does have potential value because it has a dual action:
- oxidising, the hexavalent iron in the FeO|~ ion will accept electrons so that it can be
reduced to Fe(lll);
- coagulating, using the Fe3+ ion that is obtained.
- When dissolved in water, this product will create oxygen and OH" ions (leading to the
need to adjust the pH and, if necessary, to use it alongside a classic coag ulant that has an
acidifying effect).
- 1.2.1.3. Customary treatment rates
- Tests are usually required before selecting the best reagent (quality/price) ana to
determine the level of treatment required.
- Table 6 provides a rough guide to the amounts of iron or aluminium salts expressed in g
m"3 (or mg L~1), to be used in clarification treatment.
-
- 7.2.2. "Natural" flocculation additives 1.2.2.1. Mineral flocculants
- Activated silica
- Activated silica was the first flocculent to be used. It produces good results mainly
when combined with aluminium sulphate in cold water. Not very stable, activated silica must
be prepared immediately before use by partly neutralising the alkalinity of a sodium silicate
solution.
- H2S04 is the customary acidifying agent but we can also use HC, NaHC0 3, chlorine
water... Subject to precise pH and concentration conditions, silicic acid released Si(OH) 4 will
polymerise by forming Si - 0 - Si bonds, first producing a dimer (OH) 3 Si - O - Si(OH)3 and
then an ionised polymer having the following general formula:

-
- 0.5 to 4 mg L 1 expressed in Si02 is the amount required for treatment purposes.
- Aluminosilicate
- Acid, alum in solution can be used to activate sodium silicate. This method produces a
polymerised aluminosilicate. There are also composite products avail-
- able through the trade and used for coagulation and flocculation. These products are
manufactured by injecting polysilicic acid into an aluminium salt to form, depending on
the case, aluminium polysilicosulphate (PASS) or aluminium pol-ysilicochloride
(PASIC).
- Other mineral additives
- Upstream from a sedimentation or filtration stage, some products are used to load raw
water that is deficient in suspended solids. These products are not floc-culants but contribute to
floe growth and densification.
- These will include, for instance:
- some clays (bentonite, kaolin);
- powdered calcium carbonate;
- powdered activated carbon (mainly used as an adsorbent);
- fine sand (so-called "ballasted floe" techniques, see 3.5.).
- 1.2.2.2. Organic flocculants (natural polymers)
- These are natural polymers extracted from plant or animal substances.
- Alginates
- Sodium alginates are obtained from alginic acid which is itself extracted from marine
algae. The main components of this polymer structure are mannuronic acid and guluronic acid.
Their gramme-molecular weight ranges from 2-103 tc 104D.
- These products are particularly effective when used as flocculation additives with ferric
salts but will produce equally good results with aluminium salts. The amount to be used in
treatment will range from 0.5 to 2 mg L"1.
- Starches
- Starches are obtained from the potato, tapioca or extracts from plant seeds Starches are
branched and not linear glucopyranose polymers that are sometimes degraded (OH") or
derivatives (carboxy-ethyl-dextrone). They are appliec at the rate of between 1 and 10 mg-L~ 1,
preferably in conjunction with aluminiurr salts.
- Starches and alginates are solid products that have to be prepared as a solutior at
concentrations of 5 to10 g L~1. Once they have been diluted, they can biode grade rapidly,
especially at temperatures above 20 C.
- Other compounds
- Several natural polysaccharides (derived from cellulose, gums, tannins, xan-thanes)
have flocculating properties. However, as they are not very effective, the. are rarely used in
water treatment.
- 7.2.3. Synthetic organic coagulants
- These are synthetic organic molecules that are cationic in nature, having a medium
gramme-molecular weight (104 to 105 D). They are only available as a liquid, in a water based
medium.
- These products can be used as supplied (no need for a preparation unit), wholly or
partly replacing a mineral coagulant. They must be injected after in-line dilution.
- An organic coagulant will only have a marginal effect on pH and injects very little
additional salinity. The use of organic coagulants will significantly reduce the sludge
production. Sludge extracted will be denser but also more 'sticky'. Therefore, they cannot be
adapted for use in all separation structures.
- 1.2.3.1. Classification
- There are three main groups:
- - melamineformaldehyde (or melamineformol)

- - epichlorhydrine dimethylamine (or


-

- - poly(chloride diallyldimethyl-ammonium) (or


-

- There are also other products such as polyamines that differ from epi.DMA and the
polyethylenimines, and that are mainly used in industrial wastewater clarification.
- Note: There are also organic coagulants obtained from natural sources (e.g. Chitosan,
extracts of seeds from tropical trees...), but these are rarely used.
- 1.2.3.2. Areas of application
- Given the limited number of cationic charges that can be used, organic coagulants are
mainly of interest when dealing with fine suspended solids or lightly laden colloids (low zeta
potential) where their use is simple and cost-effective.
- Clarification
- When treating water intended for food purposes, verify the legislation for the country
concerned. The amounts of treatment chemicals to be applied range from 5 to 15 g-m" 3
expressed as the commercially available liquid product.
- Coagulation over filter
- In seawater filtration applications, the coagulation reaction can be combinec with a
premature and prejudical reaction involving precipitation of the coagular: due to the high
salinity level. Therefore, only a few coagulants will be suitable.
- Industrial waste water
- This is an important area of utilisation for organic coagulants. The treatme level (5 to
50 g m"3) will depend to a large extent on the type of effluent requirec
- 1.2.3.3. Synergy with a mineral coagulant
- In some cases, organic coagulants used on their own will not enable us t: achieve the
quality of water produced by a mineral coagulant.
- The combined use of these two coagulants means that we can significant. reduce the
amount of mineral coagulant required (40 to 80 %), while producirc smaller quantities of
sludge.
- 1.2.4. Synthetic organic fiocculants
- These are very long chain macromolecules obtained by polymerising synthet :
monomers, some of which have electric charges or ionisable groups. These ar very high
gramme-molecular weight products (106 to 107 D) that make reman able performances possible
(size, solidity, floe density), usually considerably be: terthan those generated by natural
polymers.
- 1.2.4.1. Classification
- Each polymer is classified on the basis of its ionicity.
- Anionic
- These products are normally acrylamide and acrylic acid copolymers.
-
- Neutral (or non-ionic)
- These are primarily
-

- Cationic
- These are copolymers of acrylamide and cationic monomer with quatermised and
chloromethylated N, usually dimethylamino-ethyl methacrylate or dimethylamino-ethyl
acrylate

-
- 1.2.4.2.Utilisation
- Organic flocculants come in three forms:
- solid;
- emulsion (polymer in an organic solvent emulsion);
- solution (approximately 20 g L~1 in a water-based medium).
- The use of solid or emulsion flocculants always requires a specially prepared solution.
These products always require secondary dilution (see chap. 20 6.1.).
- 1.2.4.3.Areas of application
- Surface water
- In clarification applications, the synthetic flocculant will be used in conjunction with a
coagulant. The best polymer will usually be anionic and, more rarely, a non-ionic or very
slightly cationic polymer.
- Typical amount ranges from 0.05 to 0.5g-m~ 3. In some particularly highly loaded water
(desludging), up to 2 g m~3 of polymer may be required.
- (Attention: in most countries, the use of polymers in drinking water treatment is
regulated, see chap. 2 2.8.1.).
- Industrial wastewater
- When using a mineral coagulant treatment, up to 2 g m" 3 of an anionic polymer will
generally be required. In some special cases (surface treatment, stee mills, gas washing), a
cationic coagulant-flocculant polymer on its own is ofte-the best solution (0.5 to 5 g m-3).
- Urban wastewater (physical-chemical treatments)
- When used in conjunction with a mineral coagulant, the anionic floccular: tends to be
the best option. When the only requirement is the removal of sus pended solids, a synthetic
flocculant can be used on its own.
- Sludge dewatering
- Cationic flocculants are usually suitable for organic sludge processing. Minera type
sludge requires anionic flocculants. Between 0.5 and 10 kg of polymer wi! be required per
tonne of dry solids (see chap.18).