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Effect of adsorbent addition on floc formation and clarification

Younker, Jessica M., Walsh, Margaret E.
Water research 2016 v.98 pp. 1-8
activated carbon, adsorbents, air, coagulants, coagulation, drinking water, ferric chloride, freshwater, industrial effluents, naphthalene, phenol, regrowth, turbidity, wastewater, water quality analysis
Adding adsorbent into the coagulation process is an emerging treatment solution for targeting hard-to-remove dissolved organic compounds from both drinking water and industrial wastewater. The impact of adding powdered activated carbon (PAC) or organoclay (OC) adsorbents with ferric chloride (FeCl3) coagulant was investigated in terms of potential changes to the coagulated flocs formed with respect to size, structure, and breakage and regrowth properties. The ability of dissolved air flotation (DAF) and sedimentation (SED) clarification processes to remove hybrid adsorbent-coagulant flocs was also evaluated through clarified water quality analysis of samples collected in bench-scale jar test experiments. The jar tests were conducted using both a synthetic fresh water and oily wastewater test water spiked with dissolved aromatic compounds phenol and naphthalene. Results of the study demonstrated that addition of adsorbent reduced the median coagulated floc size by up to 50% but did not affect floc strength or regrowth potential after application of high shear. Experimental results in fresh water demonstrated that sedimentation was more effective than DAF for clarification of both FeCl3-PAC and FeCl3-OC floc aggregates. However, experimental tests performed on the synthetic oily wastewater showed that coagulant-adsorbent floc aggregates were effectively removed with both DAF and sedimentation treatment, with lower residual turbidity achieved in clarified water samples than with coagulation treatment alone. Addition of OC or PAC into the coagulation process resulted in removals of over half, or nearly all of the dissolved aromatics, respectively.