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Water Res. 2012 Mar 15;46(4):1045-51. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2011.11.078. Epub 2011 Dec 8.

Polymer flocculation mechanism in animal slurry established by charge neutralization.

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Aarhus University, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems Engineering, Research Centre Foulum, Blichers Allé 20, P.O. Box 50, 8830 Tjele, Denmark.


Flocculation and filtration of animal manure is practically and environmentally beneficial. However, the flocculation mechanism in manure need to be clarified to use the technique efficiently rather than relying on trial-and-error. Manures were flocculated with polyacrylamides. Floc size, dewaterability, dry matter and turbidity were measured. At optimal polymer volume, the charge neutralization was determined, i.e. amount of negative manure particle charge neutralized by positive polymer charge. The optimal cationic polymer properties were linear and very high molecular weight, which caused efficient particle catching. And it had medium charge density, which caused efficient particle attachment. The required charge neutralization was 5-23% (15% for the optimal polymer). Polymer bridging proved the dominant flocculation mechanism; patch flocculation may be slightly significant for some polymers, while coagulation proved insignificant. Manure's high ionic strength, high dry matter content and highly charged small molecules caused bridging to be more dominant in manure than in other typically flocculated media.

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