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Coagulation of highly turbid suspensions using magnesium hydroxide: effects of slow mixing conditions

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Abstract

Laboratory experiments were carried out to study the effects of slow mixing conditions on magnesium hydroxide floc size and strength and to determine the turbidity and total suspended solid (TSS) removal efficiencies during coagulation of highly turbid suspensions. A highly turbid kaolin clay suspension (1,213 ± 36 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU)) was alkalized to pH 10.5 using a 5 M NaOH solution; liquid bittern (LB) equivalent to 536 mg/L of Mg2+ was added as a coagulant, and the suspension was then subjected to previously optimized fast mixing conditions of 100 rpm and 60 s. Slow mixing speed (20, 30, 40, and 50 rpm) and time (10, 20, and 30 min) were then varied, while the temperature was maintained at 20.7 ± 1 °C. The standard practice for coagulation-flocculation jar test ASTM D2035-13 (2013) was followed in all experiments. Relative floc size was monitored using an optical measuring device, photometric dispersion analyzer (PDA 2000). Larger and more shear resistant flocs were obtained at 20 rpm for both 20- and 30-min slow mixing times; however, given the shorter duration for the former, the 20-min slow mixing time was considered to be more energy efficient. For slow mixing camp number (Gt) values in the range of 8,400–90,000, it was found that the mixing speed affected floc size and strength more than the time. Higher-turbidity removal efficiencies were achieved at 20 and 30 rpm, while TSS removal efficiency was higher for the 50-rpm slow mixing speed. Extended slow mixing time of 30 min yielded better turbidity and TSS removal efficiencies at the slower speeds.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the Environmental Engineering Research Center at the American University of Beirut for providing all necessary equipment and assistance during the experimental work.

Author information

Correspondence to Sara W. BinAhmed.

Additional information

Responsible editor: Bingcai Pan

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Ayoub, G.M., BinAhmed, S.W., Al-Hindi, M. et al. Coagulation of highly turbid suspensions using magnesium hydroxide: effects of slow mixing conditions. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21, 10502–10513 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-014-2857-0

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Keywords

  • Coagulation
  • Flocculation
  • Liquid bittern
  • Magnesium hydroxide
  • Mixing speed
  • Mixing time