What is Flocculation?

The term “flocculation” generally refers to an actual effect while the term “flocculant” describes a chemical or substance that promotes flocculation and usually has a positive charge.

Flocculation is when microscopic particles bind together to form larger particles in liquids.

It occurs naturally or artificially in water as well as other solutions.

Flocculation is used in applications such as water purification, sewage treatment, cheese production, and brewing.


How Flocculation Works

Flocculation occurs when small particles in a solution lose their repelling forces and begin to attract one another. The small particles then bond together to form “flocs” or “flakes.” Under most circumstances, a flocculant is necessary to begin the flocculation process. The most common flocculants are iron, aluminum, magnesium, and calcium. When flocs are fully formed, they can be removed from the solution they are in through traditional filtration methods.


Applications
Water can be treated via flocculation to remove microscopic dust particles, dirt, and other airborne substances that produce the cloudiness seen in some water. These microscopic particles are small but they may affect water’s taste, appearance, and texture and can also cause illness. In the food industry, flocculation determines how long cheese must sit or how long yeast must brew.

Advantages of using Flocculant

  • 1. Major Saving in cost.
  • 2. A highly enhanced rate of settling of suspended particles in clarifiers, settlers, thickeners, sedimentation operations etc.
  • 3. Improved clarity of the aqueous phase.
  • 4. Higher filtration rate on filters, drying beds.
  • 5. Higher production rates on sedimentation type centrifuges.
  • 6. Generally higher through-put rates on production equipment.
  • 7. Low size settling tanks, thickeners, filters, centrifuges and hence lower cost of equipment.
  • 8. Greatly facilitates primary effluent treatment plants. Simple and low-cost plants and operations.
  • 9. Extremely useful in the treatment of wastewaters containing dyes, pigments, pesticides, tanneries, and effluents with high suspended solids.
  • 10. The possibility of separation of immiscible liquids, water etc. and re-use.
  • 11. Selective flocculation of minerals for physical beneficiation.
  • 12. BOD, COD reduction possible.
  • 13. Simple and quicker operations.
  • 14. 4 to 15 times reduction in the size of settling tanks, thickeners, clarifiers, etc.

Disadvantages
Flocculation only occurs in liquids and cannot be used on metals or other substances. Also, not all flocculants can be used with the same solutions or under the same conditions.

Particular pollutants can be removed from the wastewater using coagulation/flocculation, which would otherwise be impossible without adding these chemicals.

Limited investment is required for these tanks and dosage units.  However, a major disadvantage of this technique is the operational costs. In some cases, considerable quantities of coagulant and flocculant are needed to achieve the required level of flocculation. A certain quantity of physicochemical sludge is also formed, which is normally processed externally.  These costs can escalate, particularly with large volumes of wastewater.

The correct dosage of chemicals is also very important for the process to work correctly. This is not straightforward with wastewater with a widely varying composition. Effective buffering of wastewater offers a good solution in this case.

Now you know the answer to What is Flocculation we can now tell you that We supply and use Flocculants in many different industries, from Abattoirs to food manufacturers and breweries but mainly to the wastewater industry.


GPC Clear Solutions Limited can offer a FREE, no-obligation onsite evaluation of your current effluent discharge procedure which can include:

  • Evaluation of existing effluent processing equipment.
  • Evaluation of existing wastewater treatment chemicals
  • Collection of current incoming and outgoing effluent
  • A FREE full-colour technical report outlining current status and potential improvements
  • A FREE laboratory analysis of current effluent including results for:
  • COD
  • Suspended Solids
  • Dissolved Metals*
  • Ammonia*
  • Phosphate*
  • FOG*
  • Total Solids*
  • Sulphide*
    Save £££’s on your Mogden costs with GPC Clear Solutions Limited today!!**
    *Where appropriate
    **Results vary and each chemical solution is tailor-made. All costs and associated savings will be fully outlined before an onsite trail
    begins.

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