Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 34, pp 33978–33991 | Cite as

Performance of full-scale coagulation-flocculation/DAF as a pre-treatment technology for biodegradability enhancement of high strength wastepaper-recycling wastewater

  • Sepideh Ansari
  • Javad Alavi
  • Zaher Mundher YaseenEmail author
Research Article


Paper mill wastewater leads to a serious damage on the environment owing to the high content of organic matters, suspended solids, toxic substances, and lignin. Hence, exploring new treatment technologies is the passion of environmental engineers to minimize the effluent impact on the environment and cleaner production aspects. This research focused on the performance of full-scale coagulation-fluctuation/DAF system for pre-treatment of high strength wastepaper-recycling wastewater and its effect on biodegradability improvement. To optimize unit performance, optimum coagulant and flocculant doses were firstly determined by jar test without prior change and adjustment of pH in lab-scale experiments. The optimum dosages were obtained by 1500 mg L−1 polyaluminum chloride (PACl) as coagulant coupled with 40 mg L−1 cationic polyacrylamide (C-PAM) as flocculant. Percentage removals of 39 ± 10, 6.8 ± 3.6, 31.0 ± 6.7, 24.0 ± 3.8, and 33.0 ± 20.0 were achieved for COD, sCOD, BOD5, sBOD5, and color, respectively. The average BOD5 to COD ratio after pre-treatment increased from 0.44 to 0.5, whereas the ratio of sBOD5/sCOD dropped from 0.65 to 0.53. A superior effectiveness in reduction of TSS (98.1%) and VSS (98.4%) was also achieved. The results show that the application process is able to prevent malfunction operation in the following bioreactors which is obtainable through bio-treatability enhancement of pre-treated wastewater and reducing the risks of clogging and sludge washout. Attached growth processes are suggested to be applied in the further anaerobic/aerobic processes because of high proportion of soluble fraction of COD in the effluent to avoid poor floc formation and dispersed growth problems.


Coagulation-flocculation DAF Bio-treatability Paper recycling plant High strength wastewater 



Anaerobic baffled reactor


Biochemical oxygen demand


Chemical oxygen demand




Coagulation-flocculation/dissolved air floatation


Cationic polyacrylamide


Dissolved air floatation


Hydraulic retention time


Hydraulic loading rate


Inert total suspended solids


Free ammonia


Nitrate ion


Organic loading rate


Polyaluminum chloride




Particulate biochemical oxygen demand


Particulate chemical oxygen demand


Soluble biochemical oxygen demand


Soluble chemical oxygen demand


Sludge volume index


Total dissolved solids


Total Kjeldahl nitrogen


Total suspended solids


Volatile suspended solids


Wastewater treatment plant



The authors would like to thank the managers and staff of the factory for facilitating and providing financial supports to conduct this research. Also, the authors gratefully acknowledge Mr. Ahmad Zeighami for his comments, assistance, and enthusiastic support during sampling and water quality analysis.

Funding information

This study was funded by Kaghaz bazyaft wastepaper-recycling plant.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sepideh Ansari
    • 1
  • Javad Alavi
    • 1
  • Zaher Mundher Yaseen
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences and EngineeringKheradgarayan Motahar Institute of Higher EducationMashhadIran
  2. 2.Sustainable Developments in Civil Engineering Research Group, Faculty of Civil EngineeringTon Duc Thang UniversityHo Chi Minh CityVietnam

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