The aim of this work was to compare the efficiency of a coagulation-flocculation process using different systems individually or in combination. The waste water used was an industrial cuttlefish effluent principally composed of colloidal particles from the cuttlefish. The initial turbidity and chemical oxygen demand were approximately 700 NTU and 22,000 mg×L-1 respectively. Two parameters were used to assess the process efficiency: the residual turbidity and the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of the supernatant.
Three systems were investigated: aluminium sulphate (SA), polyelectrolytes and a ternary combination of SA-polyelectrolyte and colloidal microparticle adjuvant. Results demonstrated that at pH 6-7, SA caused some coagulation of the suspension, but the dosage required (about 1000 mg×L-1) far exceeded those conventionally used in water treatment. As a consequence, an appreciable amount of SA, which was above the authorised limits, remained in the supernatant. Indeed, adsorption isotherm measurements revealed that at pH 6.5-7 the residual proportion of SA attained was about 20%. The addition of polyelectrolytes in combination with SA allowed reduction of the SA dosage to 150 mg×L-1. Amongst the polymers tested, the cationic polymer was the most efficient. The ability to bring about flocculation was positively related to the molecular weight, which is in agreement with a bridging flocculation mechanism. Starch, a natural, low-cost polymer was also an efficient flocculent even though it is a non-charged polymer. The ability of starch to bring about a flocculation action was explained by its relatively low solubility, which leads to some aggregation of macromolecular chains that act as anchoring sites for the coagulated ink particles. With this system, a double treatment in the presence of 150 mg×L-1 SA and 25 mg×L-1 polydiallyldimethylammonium chloride (PDMAC) or starch lead to a supernatant with a turbidity and COD of 150 NTU and 5500 mg×L-1 respectively .
The third part of our study was concerned with the effect of the addition of an insoluble microparticle adjuvant in combination with SA and polyelectrolytes. Different components were investigated, but among them only colloidal silica and MgO bring about a significant enhancement of the flocculation process. This effect was explained by a bridging mechanism in which the adjuvant microparticles act as sites that favour the anchoring of the coagulated ink particles. Using a triple treatment in the presence of 150 mg×L-1 SA, 25 mg×L-1 PDMAC and 0.75 g×L-1 MgO removed about 95 % of the ink particles. The supernatant obtained was characterised by a low turbidity value (about 7 NTU) and a COD value about 2000 mg×L-1.
Coagulant, polymeric flocculants, cuttlefish effluents, residual turbidity.
Boufi, S., Laboratoire Sciences des Matériaux et Environnement
Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, BP 802 3018 Sfax TUNISIE