Significance and sustainability of coagulant to environment
What is coagulant ?
Coagulation is a process of combining particles, colloids, and dissolved organic material into larger aggregates (Amirtharajah and O'Melia, 1990). These aggregates are then removed from the water usually by clarification and filtration processes in most conventional WTWs.
Water is essential for all life on earth. However, as a resource, water is limited. Where it is available, water has many different impurities which give it colour, taste and smell. We must reduce those impurities before we can use it for drinking, and before we give it back to nature after using it in our households and industries.
Chemical coagulation with metal salts has been proven to be one of the most cost-efficient ways to reduce impurities. Coagulants are used in many different applications. The most important ones are for the production of drinking water and treatment of wastewater. In the production of drinking water, coagulants are typically used to reduce particles, colour and metals. Coagulants used in wastewater treatment help to reduce heavy metals, nutrients, organic substances and particles.
Raw material sustainability
The main ingredient in coagulants is typically either aluminium or iron. Total production is almost evenly split between the two metals. Both elements are abundant on earth with iron extracted from ores such as magnetite and hematite. Aluminium is typically produced from bauxite ore.
Many inorganic coagulants, particularly those based on iron salts, are produced from by-products of other industrial processes. This avoids the use of virgin raw materials and results in a lower carbon footprint for these coagulants.
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