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Use of calcium-alginate as a coagulant for low turbidity waters

Yüksel, Avni Mete
This study aims to investigate the possibility of using calcium-alginate as a coagulant in low turbidity waters. Jar tests were initially performed with synthetically prepared turbid waters to investigate the effect of alginate and calcium concentrations, alginate’s molecular weight, rapid mixing time and speed (schedule), initial pH and alkalinity of synthetic water on turbidity removal efficiency of calcium-alginate system step by step. Alum as a coagulant was then used in jar tests conducted with synthetic water to compare with calcium-alginate in terms of its turbidity removal efficiency and produced sludge properties. Finally, raw water acquired from water treatment plant was tested for treatability by using calcium-alginate based on previously determined optimum parameters via jar tests. Experiments of calcium-alginate system with synthetic water showed that calcium was a key parameter in coagulation and high molecular weight alginate performed better in turbidity removal. Significant improvements in turbidity removal were observed when mixing schedules were rearranged; especially in case of increasing rapid mixing time following calcium dosing. Calcium-alginate system neither was notably affected by pH or alkalinity nor did significantly change the pH or alkalinity of the medium. Alum worked well in turbidity removal with additional adjustments of pH and alkalinity, however; alum produced higher quantities of sludge than calcium-alginate system. “Raw water“ experiments with calcium-alginate did not result in desired level of turbidity removals due to the excessively different characteristics of this water compared to the synthetically prepared turbid water.