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Water Res. 2002 Mar;36(6):1503-12.

Destabilisation of oil-water emulsions and separation by dissolved air flotation.

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The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology UMIST, Department of Chemical Engineering, UK


The roles of aluminium and ferric sulphates as destabilising agents for oil-water emulsions that have been stabilised by a non-ionic surfactant (Span 20) are investigated in terms of oil removal. The effects of coagulant dose, pH, and the duration and intensity of both slow and fast mixing are considered. Electrokinetic measurements indicate that oil droplets have a negative zeta potential that is weakly dependent on pH. The chosen coagulants are shown to be effective in reducing the zeta potential of the oil droplets, and charge reversal was observed for aluminium sulphate. Oil removals up to 99.3% at pH 8 and 99.94% at pH 7 are seen for aluminium sulphate and ferric sulphate respectively. Rapid mixing times of around 120 s and flocculation times ranging from 15 to 20 min appear to be optimal for the DAF separation. It is concluded that relatively low average mixing speeds for coagulation and flocculation are essential for efficient operation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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