Flocculation Dynamics of Synthetic and Activated Sludge in Wastewater Treatment

Tan Phong Nguyen, Nidal Hilal, John T. Novak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study has investigated in a comparative fashion the effect of cation, polysaccharide, and Polyelectrolyte on the flocculation dynamics and final properties of both synthetic and activated sludge. The results from experiments indicate that cation, polysaccharide, and Polyelectrolyte could influence sludge floc characteristics as they relate to sludge conditioning. The relationship between polysaccharide and cation concentration was examined at laboratory scale during flocculation with both synthetic and activated sludge; an increase in feed cation concentration led to a decrease in final polysaccharide concentration of the supernatant. The effects of a polyelectrolyte conditioner on sludge conditioning were determined. The results indicated that the cationic Polyelectrolyte had the critical effect on sludge dewatering, and made the improvement of the final properties of sludge. A qualitative link exists between polyelectrolyte conditioner dosage and sludge conditioning for both types of sludge. The two types of sludge also have very similar sludge conditioning. Thus synthetic and activated sludge behave very similarly in terms of their characteristics and sludge conditioning, and synthetic sludge can be used as a surrogate in activated sludge studies.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScience, Technology and Society
Issue number02-2009
StatePublished - 2009


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