What is the purpose of Coagulation and Flocculation in an Effluent Treatment Plant?
Coagulation and flocculation in Effluent treatment plants are used to separate the suspended solids portion from the water. One of the biggest challenges that a wastewater industry has to face is the removal of suspended particles from the water effectively, efficiently, and quickly. Groundwater and surface water contain both suspended and dissolved particles. Coagulation and Flocculation are the two most efficiently treated methods to remove the high volume of these particles from water efficiently.
Coagulation and Flocculation are complementary to each other. If the coagulation process is incomplete then the flocculation process is also incomplete and vice-versa.
Let us understand the purpose of these two methods i.e. coagulation and flocculation in an effluent treatment plant in detail.
What is the purpose of Coagulation in an Effluent treatment plant?
Coagulation treatment was used by Europeans as early as 2000 B.C. and thereafter by Romans used this method. It was in the 18th century used by Englishmen. It is one of the first processes in treating wastewater in an effluent treatment plant.
Coagulant chemicals with a positive charge are added to the water to neutralize the charges on non-settleable particles. Thereafter, they repel with suspended particles that contain a negative charge. Due to the repelling feature, charges get neutralised. After the charges are neutralised, the suspended particles get stuck to each other.
Coagulation clumps together and this makes the removal process easier. It basically forms a clot of suspended particles in the effluent treatment plant. This treatment is especially useful in removing the chemical phosphorus from water.
This method reduces the time required to settle out the suspended solids and make the process of removal of fine particles easier.
What is the purpose of Flocculation in an Effluent treatment plant?
The flocculation process comes after coagulation and goes hand in hand with it. As soon as the particles get clumped to each other, flocculation is used to remove these clumps. Flocculants are lightweight, medium weight, and high polymers that cause the destabilized clumps to agglomerate and drop them out of the solution. Flocculants have been used by Africans in prehistoric times.
These are used to remove colour, turbidity, algae from the wastewater making the filtered water clean. Their main purpose is to remove such suspended particles that take much time in the process of sedimentation. These facilitate the bonding between the particles formed in the coagulation process.
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