The fractal structure and particle size of flocs are generally recognized as the two most crucial physical properties having impact on the efficiency of operation of several unit processes in water and wastewater treatment. In this study, an experimental investigation is undertaken on the effect of aggregate structure in water and wastewater treatment in Hong Kong. The fractal dimension of the resulting aggregate is employed as a measure of the aggregate structure. Small angle light scattering technique is used here. Different amounts of polymers are mixed to bacterial suspensions and the resulting structures are examined. The addition of polymer may foster aggregate formation by neutralization of the bacterial surface charge and enhance inter-particle bridging. The aggregation behavior may affect the efficiency of certain water and wastewater treatment processes such as dewatering and coagulation. The impacts of aggregate structure on two representative processes, namely, ultra-filtration membrane fouling and pressure filter dewatering efficiency, are studied. It is found that the looser flocs yield a more porous cake and less tendency to foul whilst more porous filter cakes yield more ready biosolids dewatering.

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