What is Flocculation in water treatment?
Flocculation involves the formation of flocs. This is mainly achieved through the physical and mechanical process that is involved with the already coagulated clumps to join together. This results in the formation of large masses of flocs which initially appear as a cloud and then converted into a precipitate. Flocculation is an important step in water treatment procedures which is always followed by coagulation step.
During the flocculation procedure, the solution which is coagulated already is mixed gently. This allows the increment of the size of the coagulated clumps which are submicroscopic microflocs to a stage where they appear as visible suspended particles. Therefore, the large clumps or the large precipitate could be easily separated and removed from the medium. The slow mixing procedure of flocculation allows the contact of microflocs with each other which induces inter-microfloc collisions.
These collisions induce the formation of bonds between microflocs and results in the formation of larger particles which are visible. When mixing continues, the floc size gradually increases. This process is assisted by the addition of organic polymers that possess high molecular weight. These are also referred to as coagulant aids. The addition of organic polymers results in different aspects. This allows the bridging and strengthening the floc which increases the weight of floc while also increasing the rate of settling.
Key Differences Between Coagulation and Flocculation in Water Treatment
Flocculation is completed once the floc reaches its optimum strength and size. This usually takes an hour depending on the size of the medium. Once flocculation is completed, the water is eligible to undergo separation processes.
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