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Coagulation and Flocculation
Coagulation and
Flocculation
Engr. Arfa Iqbal Institute of Environmental Engineering and Research
Engr. Arfa Iqbal
Institute of Environmental Engineering and Research

Why Coagulation is needed?

Small

size

particles

settling velocities.

(colloidal

particles)

have

low

Their removal is not possible by gravity settling under

reasonable overflow rates.

units

(sedimentation, filtration) can be achieved by increasing their size.

Their

effective

removal

in

subsequent

COAGULATION Definition and Measurement of Colloids

Many of the contaminants in water and wastewater contain matter in the colloidal form. These colloids result in a stable “suspension”.

In general the suspension is stable enough so that gravity

forces will not cause precipitation of these colloidal particles.

So they need special treatment to remove them from the aqueous phase. This destabilization of colloids is called coagulation”.

Typical colloidal characteristics for water

and wastewater

· Size range: less than 10 micron. (somewhere in the range between a molecule and bacteria in size).

· 50 70 % of the organic matter in domestic wastewater is composed of colloidal matter.

· In water treatment; color, turbidity, viruses, bacteria, algae and organic matter are primarily behave as colloids.

Causes for colloidal stability

Colloidal stability can be influenced by the degree of

affinity for

suspended.

classification:

the

solvent

in

which

the

the

colloid

is

This

leads

to

following

colloid

COLLOID CLASSIFICATION: (based on

solvent affinity)

1. Hydrophobic ( water-hating):

These

colloids

are

normally

negatively

charged

and

dispersion is stabilized by electrostatic repulsion.

Generally the negative charge is of physical/chemical origin (e.g. clays, metal oxides, sulfides).

These colloids are classified as thermodynamically unstable

which means that if enough time is allowed the particles will

aggregate, although very slowly.

2. Hydrophilic ( water-loving):

Such colloids have a great affinity for the solvent (usually water in our case).

The colloids usually possess a slight charge (negative), but dispersion is stabilized by hydration (attraction for particles of water).

Generally these colloids are particles which are biological in origin: e.g., gelatin, starch, proteins. These particles are

thermodynamically stable.

There are several possible origins of primary surface charge:

1. Adsorption of potential determining ions:

This involves preferential adsorption of a specific type of

ion on the surface of the colloid.

Adsorption is usually van der Waals or hydrogen bonding.

For example, a surfactant on clay surface, humic acid on

silica, OH - on many minerals.

The charge that results is a function of concentration and

type of ion in solution, pH, etc.)

2. Lattice imperfections or isomorphic

replacement:

This is very common in clay minerals.

For example, the isomorphic replacement of Al 3+ for Si 4+ as shown below.

is very common in clay minerals. For example, the isomorphic replacement of Al 3 + for
is very common in clay minerals. For example, the isomorphic replacement of Al 3 + for

3. Ionogenic groups at surface:

(ionizable surface groups such as carboxyl, amino, hydroxyl, sulfonic, etc.)

The charge here is usually dependent on pH.

Removal of Colloids from the Aqueous Phase

Removal of colloids in water and wastewater treatment processes involves two steps:

1. Destabilization (or Coagulation):

Reduce the forces acting to keep the particles apart after they contact each other (i.e., lower repulsion forces).

2. Flocculation:

Process of bringing destabilized colloidal particles

together to allow them to aggregate to a size where

they will settle by gravity.

After coagulation /flocculation, gravity

sedimentation, and sometimes filtration, are

employed to remove the flocculated colloids.

COAGULATION

COAGULANTS

Chemicals

coagulants.

Inorganic Salts

Most commonly used coagulant is ALUM.

ALUM,

Some other coagulants are;

FeSO 4

Fe 2 (SO 4 ) 3 (pH =3 . 5 - 7 and > 9 )

(pH => 8 . 5 )

that

used

in

coagulation

are

Al 2 (SO 4 ) 3 .14H 2 O

(pH 4 7 )

are

called

COAGULATION

COAGULANTS

Polymers (Synthetic organic polymers)

A polymer is a chain of small subunits or monomers.

If a subunit in a polymer contains ionizable groups, the polymer is

termed polylelectrolyte.

Depending upon ionizable group, a polymer is termed:

Cationic, Anioinc, Ampholytic etc.

Polymers are generally available under trade names with maximum concentrations that can be used.

When using in water treatment their health significance must be considered.

COAGULATION

Coagulant Aids

Coagulant

aids

are

often

added

to

help

stimulate the production of Floc

They include activated silica, clays, sodium aluminate, sodium silicate and various synthetic organic water soluble polyelectrolytes or polymers

Coagulant Action

Coagulation with Alum

The process involved are very complex but may be described as follows;

Coagulant Action Coagulation with Alum The process involved are very complex but may be described as
Coagulant Action Coagulation with Alum The process involved are very complex but may be described as

Coagulant Action

Coagulant Action
Coagulant Action

Coagulant Action

This complex reaction is frequently represented by the

simplified equation

is frequently represented by the simplified equation • The polymeric species formed and the effectiveness of

The polymeric species formed and the effectiveness of coagulation are dependent upon both pH and applied concentration of coagulant.

For any water, there is an optimum pH range and optimum coagulant concentration.

IMPORTANCE OF ALKALINITY

Natural alkalinity acts as buffer.

If alkalinity not present, pH drops and affects coagulant performance.

Adequacy of the natural alkalinity may be estimated by the approximate overall reactions involved.

performance. • Adequacy of the natural alkalinity may be estimated by the approximate overall reactions involved.

COAGULANT SELECTION Requires experimentation (Jar test)

Type of coagulant

Guide for 4 classifications of water

1. High turbidity, High alkalinity

Polymers

Inorganic salts

pH adjustment may not be required

2. High turbidity, Low alkalinity

Polymers

Inorganic salts with pH adjustment

Type of coagulant

3. Low turbidity, High alkalinity

Polymers and coagulant aids

Inorganic salts

4. Low turbidity, Low alkalinity

Polymers and coagulant aids

Inorganic salts and pH adjustment

QUANTITY OF COAGULANT

Dose depends upon raw water quality.

JAR TEST is used

coagulant.

to find

optimum dose of

QUANTITY OF COAGULANT Dose depends upon raw water quality. JAR TEST is used coagulant. to find

JAR TEST

PROCEDURE (for Alum and other inorganic salts)

i.

Place 1 or 2 L water sample in 6 beakers.

ii.

Prepare the stock solution of the coagulant (e.g. 10 g/L)

iii.

Add the desired amount of coagulant and lime to each sample.

iv.

Mix the coagulant in water sample vigorously. Continue the flash mixing for 3 min at 100 RPM.

JAR TEST

PROCEDURE

iv. Flocculate (slow mixing) for 10-20 minutes at 10-15

RPM.

v.

Settle the samples for 30 minutes and then syphon the supernatant for analysis.

vi.

Analyze for pH, turbidity, alkalinity etc. and find the

optimum dose according to the desired requirements.

Methods to Destabilize Colloids

(Coagulation Processes):

Coagulation and flocculation can be caused by any of

the following:

Double layer compression

Charge neutralization

Interparticle bridging

Enmeshment in a precipitate (colloid entrapment)

Methods to Destabilize Colloids ( Coagulation Processes):

1. Double layer compression:

This can be accomplished by addition of an indifferent electrolyte (charged ions with no specific attraction for colloid primary surface).

Adding indifferent electrolyte increases the ionic strength of solution which has the effect of

compressing the EDL.

closer to the surface, the repulsion forces becomes easier to negate by van der Waals forces.

As the counterions are pushed

With

this

type

overdosing.

of

coagulation

can

not

get

Also there is no relationship between colloid concentration and optimum dosage of coagulant. The same amount of indifferent electrolyte is required for low and high concentration of colloids.

This means of coagulation is not very effective in water treatment.

Assignment

1. Discuss the role of zeta potential in Double Layer Compression phenomenon?

2. Why no over dosing occurs in Double Layer

Compression?

3. Why there is no relation between colloid concentration and optimum coagulant dosage?

2. Adsorption and Charge Neutralization:

If charged (+) counterions have a specific affinity for the surface of the colloid (not merely electrostatic attraction) then adsorption of the counter-ion will reduce the primary charge of the colloid.

Characteristics of Adsorption/Neutralization:

1. Destabilize at lower concentration than indifferent electrolytes.

2. Adsorption can result in overdosing with subsequent surface charge reversal.

3. Optimal dosage of coagulant is proportional to colloid

concentration.

3. Interparticle bridging:

In

this

case

polymers,

metal

salt

or

synthetic

organic types, specifically adsorb to surface, often

charge neutralization occurs.

But further, other parts of the polymer adsorb to

forms a polymer bridge as

other colloids.

This

schematically shown.

Using the definitions discussed above Reaction 1

represents "coagulation" and Reaction 2 represents "flocculation". There is stoichiometry of coagulation

(dosage of coagulant is proportional to colloid

concentration.

Adsorption is specific (usually chemical bonding), it is possible to adsorb negative or neutral polymers to the typically negative colloid surface. Overdosing is possible.

Basically the polymer covers the surface of the colloids without bridging to another colloid. This is shown in the following figure.

4. Enmeshment in a precipitate (sweep floc):

If metal salts, e.g., Al 2 (SO 4 ) 3 , FeCl 3 are added in sufficient quantities to exceed the solubility products

of the metal hydroxide, oxide or, sometimes

carbonates a “sweep floc” will form.

Colloids will become enmeshed in the settling sweep

floc and be removed from the suspension.

Dosing Strategies (for hydrolyzing metal salts)

Define zones of effectiveness:

Zone 1: Low dosage, insufficient coagulant added to

produce destabilization.

Zone 2: Dosage sufficient to cause efficient and rapid

destabilization

Zone 3: Dosage high enough to cause restabilization

(charge reversal or polymer foldback)

Zone 4: Dosage high enough to get sweep floc which

results in good destabilization.

Flocculation

Destabilized particles and chemical precipitates resulting from coagulation may still settle very slowly.

Flocculation is a slow mixing process in which particles are brought into contact in order to promote their agglomeration.

Coagulation/Flocculation Tanks

The mechanics of coagulation and flocculation are accomplished in coagulation and flocculation tanks.

Coagulation/Flocculation Tanks

Rapid Mixer:

Coagulation is performed in a rapid-mix tank.

Chemicals are added and intense mixing/agitation is

done to disperse the chemicals throughout the basin

and to allow adequate contact between the coagulant

and the colloids.

Devices used are Hydraulic Jump, Static mixers using Impellers

Coagulation/Flocculation Tanks

Flocculation Basins:

Flocculation is achieved in the flocculation basins.

Slow mixing is done to impart inter-particle contacts so that they are agglomerated into large particle.

Mixing

Rapid mixing and flocculation are basically mixing operations and, consequently, are governed by the same principles and require similar design parameter.

Parameter for Mixing:

Velocity Gradient (G) is the parameter used to describe the intensity of mixing.

Mixing Devices

(Rapid Mixing)

Design of Tanks

The Basin (Tank): Detention time (t d ) The mixing system: Velocity Gradient (G)

VELOCITY GRADIENT

VELOCITY GRADIENT
VELOCITY GRADIENT

Design Criteria

FLASH MIXERS

Detention Time

Velocity Gradient

Shape

Depth

10-30 sec

700 to 1000 per second

Square or circular

1 to 1.25 the basin diameter or width

Design Criteria

FLOCCULATION TANKS

Design Criteria FLOCCULATION TANKS – Detention Time – Velocity Gradient – Water depth 15-60 minutes 20-60

Detention Time

Velocity Gradient

Water depth

15-60 minutes 20-60 per second 3 to 5 m

1. Perikinetic Flocculation

For small particles < 0.1 μm

Primary mechanism: Brownian movement

Form flocs ranging from 1 to 100 μm

1. Perikinetic Flocculation

During perikinetic floc formation, particles

collide as a result of Brownian motion.

The random motion of the colloidal particles results from the rapid and random bombardment of the colloidal particles by molecules of the fluid (Brownian motion).

2. Orthokinetic Flocculation

Orthokinetic flocculation refers to contacts or collisions

of colloidal particles resulting from bulk fluid motion,

such as stirring.

applying

Chances

of

collisions

are

increased

by

agitation.

If agitation occurs, velocity of fluid varies both spatially (from point to point) and temporarily (from time to time).

The spatial change in velocity is characterized by a velocity gradient Ğ. Particles which follow the fluid motion will also have different velocities, so that opportunities exist for interparticle contacts.

2. Orthokinetic Flocculation

For relatively larger particles > 1 μm.

Mixing causes velocity gradients that causes

collisions between suspended materials.

Can result in floc breakup due to shear forces

in the water.

3. Differential Settling

Flocculated particles (different sizes) settle via

gravitational forces.

Because of the different in sizes, they have

different settling velocities which causes particles to collide and form arger flocs; thus,

promoting flocculation.