Authors Petzold, G. ; Geißler, U. ; Smolka, N. ; Schwarz, S.
Title Influence of humic acid on the flocculation of clay
Date 14.05.2004
Number 11277
Abstract The aim of this study was to improve the flocculation of wastewater from gravel pits, especially the separation of the finely dispersed inorganic particles and the removing of humic acid. Clay was used as a model to investigate the influence of humic acid on the flocculation with two different types of polycation. The dependence of the sedimentation behaviour on time was investigated as well as the turbidity of the supernatant and the light absorption as a measure for humic acid removal. Bridging of particles remained the dominant mechanism of particle destabilisation by treating the clay in water with cationic polyacrylamides of very high molecular mass (CPAM). Poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) (PDADMAC) of lower molar mass (35 000 g/mol) was found to act by charge neutralisation. In this case the so-called flocculation window was very small. This behaviour is the same for systems containing humic acid. However, the need for cationic flocculant increases because humic acid as a weak polyanion can interact with the polycation. By using CPAMs with low charge this interaction does not play a significant role. The optimum flocculation concentration is relatively high. The flocs are larger and the velocity of sedimentation is higher than for the short-chain and highly charged polycation PDADMAC. However, because the latter is more effective in removal of humic acid at the point of optimum flocculation it is more advantageous to combine the highly charged polycation with a high molecular weight polyanion (dual system).
Publisher Colloid and Polymer Science
Citation Colloid and Polymer Science 282 (2004) 670-676

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