Industrial polymer effluent treatment by chemical coagulation and flocculation

Farooq Sher, Atiq Malik, Hao Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Citations (Scopus)
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Polymer industries generate significant amounts of effluent which has to be treated before being discharged into water stream. So far, very little attention has been paid towards polymer effluent treatment by physio-chemical process. In the present study, chemical coagulation-flocculation process was used to separate solids from industrial polymer effluent in order to make the effluent dischargeable with suitable characteristics. Aluminium sulphate [Al2(SO4)3] and anionic polyacrylamide (Magnafloc155) were used as coagulant and flocculant respectively. Sulphuric acid (H 2SO4) and lime solution [Ca(OH)2] were used to adjust the pH values during the treatment process. A series of jar tests were conducted with different values of pH and dosing amounts of coagulant and flocculant. After each test, the supernatant layer of treated effluent was analysed for chemical oxygen demand (COD), suspended solids (SS), colour and turbidity. The process efficiency varied between 10 and 98% in COD removal, between 23 and 91% in suspended solids removal and between 37% and 99% reduction in turbidity. The optimal working pH value for coagulation was found to be 6 and that for flocculation was 8. The optimal doses of coagulant and flocculant were 7.5 mL/L of effluent. These jar testing results have been further proved by a successful pilot scale trial at the polymer plant with 1000 L effluent in an intermediate bulk container (IBC) using the same optimal values of the jar tests, which indicates that the chemical coagulation and flocculation process is a feasible solution for the treatment of effluent generated at polymer industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-689
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number4
Early online date18 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering Vol. 1, Iss. 4,
(2013) DOI: 10.1016/j.jece.2013.07.003

© 2013, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Chemical treatment
  • Coagulation and flocculation
  • Effluent treatment
  • Polymer effluent
  • Water-based emulsion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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