Abstract

In this study, the simultaneous removal of inorganic turbidity and organics was investigated at alkaline pH to avert the need for pH adjustment and overdosing. The aim was to compare the doses for conventional and enhanced coagulation and, consequently, arrive at optimized coagulation where both had synergistic maximum removal. High basicity PACl was used to coagulate simulated waters prepared by humic acid (HA) and kaolin. The removal of turbidity, total organic carbon (TOC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and UV254 was evaluated. The impact of varying input concentrations of HA and turbidity on doses was studied. The enhanced coagulation doses were higher than conventional ones. However, with an increase in input TOC, the difference between enhanced and conventional doses narrowed. The doses for optimized coagulation ranged from 2 to 9 mg Al/L. At optimized coagulation, the removal of TOC, DOC and UV254 varied from 30–85%, 30–89% and 73–91% respectively. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy revealed the presence of Si-O-C bond. The interactions of unsaturated bonds of hydrophobic organics to inorganic clay were possibly favoured over hydrophilics. HA agglomeration reduced coagulant consumption as the input TOC increased. It was concluded that instead of a stoichiometric approach, a modified dosing approach can be applied for limiting underdosing and overdosing while ensuring maximum removal of impurities.

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