An investigation was conducted to study the feasibility of ferric coagulant recovery from chemical sludge and its recycle in chemically enhanced primary treatment (CEPT) to make the process more cost-effective, as well as reduce sludge volume. The optimum conditions and efficiency of the acidification for ferric coagulant recovery from coagulation sludge were investigated. Experimental results showed that the recovered coagulants can be used in CEPT and the pollutants removal efficiency is similar to that of fresh coagulant, and for some aspects the effect of recovered coagulants is better than that of fresh ones, such as turbidity removal. Although some substances will be enriched during recycle, they have little effect on treated wastewater quality. Acidification condition also had significant influence on reduction of sludge volume. The efficiency of coagulant recovery had a linear relationship with sludge reduction. Experiments verify that it would be a sustainable and cost-effective way to recover ferric coagulant from coagulation sludge in water treatment and chemical wastewater treatment, and then recycle it to CEPT, as well as reduce sludge volume.

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