Coagulation Efficiency of Biomass Fly Ash Leachate in Thermomechanical Pulping (TMP) Pressate



In this study, the coagulation performance of a biomass-based fly ash leachate (FLC) and alum on a thermomechanical pulping (TMP) pressate was compared systematically.


Fly ash leachate (FLC) was first produced via mixing fly ash with water and extracting the soluble part of fly ash. Then, the coagulation performance of FLC in TMP pressate was studied and compared with that of alum, as a benchmark. The effects of the dosage of the coagulant and treatment time on the chord length of particles in the TMP pressate as well as the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and lignin content of the TMP pressate were systematically monitored.


It was observed that FLC and alum coagulated the dissolved materials of the TMP pressate. The COD and lignin removals were 18.4% and 26.9%, respectively, when FLC was added to a TMP pressate under the conditions of 5060 mg/kg FLC/TMP pressate, 200 rpm, pH 12.5 298 K and 30 min. Calcium ions of FLC were the main contributor to the coagulation performance of FLC for TMP pressate. The chord length analysis of solution revealed that the particles in the 1–10 and 10–50 µm ranges were rapidly coagulated, forming larger aggregates in the 50–150 and 150–300 µm size ranges and reaching the maximum mean chord length within approximately 4 min when the coagulant was an alum. FLC led to the slower conversion of particles in 1–10 µm range and a faster conversion in the 10–50 and 50–150 µm ranges than alum did. As FLC can be readily produced inexpensively onsite, it could be a suitable coagulant for eliminating the dissolved components of the pulp and paper effluents.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Ontario Research Fund, Canada Research Chair, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, NSERC, and CRIBE for funding this research project.

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Correspondence to Pedram Fatehi.

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Cave, G., Gao, W. & Fatehi, P. Coagulation Efficiency of Biomass Fly Ash Leachate in Thermomechanical Pulping (TMP) Pressate. Waste Biomass Valor (2021).

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  • Biomass
  • Fly ash
  • Effluent
  • Waste management