This study aims to compare the performance of two waterworks sludge samples, ferric chloride sludge (FCS) and polyaluminium chloride sludge (PACS), as coagulants to remove Acid Red 119 (AR119) dye from aqueous solution. A series of batch experiments were performed to investigate the effect of initial pH, coagulant dosage and initial dye concentration on coagulation/flocculation process efficiency. Results showed that the dye removal was strongly pH-dependent and followed the same trend for both coagulants, increasing steadily with decreasing initial pH in the range of 3–12. With the increase of coagulant dosage, the dye removal efficiency increased and no re-stabilization phenomenon was observed. However, the coagulant dosage needed for the maximum dye removal efficiency was much lower for FCS (150 mg dried sludge/L) in compare with PACS (5.5 g dried sludge/L). It seems that both charge neutralization and sweep flocculation mechanisms were involved in removal of AR119 using FCS and PACS. With the increase of initial dye concentration, Q (the amount of the removed dye per unit mass of coagulant) steadily increased and reached to a maximum value of 0.96 mg dye/mg sludge and 0.029 mg dye/mg sludge for FCS and PACS, respectively. FCS was more effective than PACS for AR119 dye removal due to the higher amount of dye removed per unit mass of sludge.

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