The use of coagulants is essential in the diverse disciplines of conventional water and wastewater treatment. This work aimed to select an economic and effective coagulant, to minimize the cost of treatment and the oil droplet content of the water, thus enhancing the efficiency of a local South African oil refinery effluent plant recovering water and oil for reuse by treating the industrial mineral oil wastewater. A standard dissolved air flotation jar test preceded evaluation of four coagulants, viz. aluminum sulfate (Alum), aluminum chloride, ferric sulfate and ferric chloride. Chemical oxygen demand, soap oil and grease, total suspended solids and turbidity were determined as water quality parameters to check coagulant efficiency. Removal of over 70% was achieved for each parameter. The results obtained at pH 5 and coagulant dose of 50 mg/L showed that alum was the best pretreatment coagulant for destabilizing and minimizing oil droplets in water, due to its trivalent cationic nature. It was also economically viable.

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