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Uncovering the neglected role of anions in trivalent cation-based coagulation processes.

Water Research 2024 Februrary 22
Coagulation efficiency is heavily contingent upon a profound comprehension of the underlying mechanisms, facilitated by the evolution of coagulation theory. However, the role of anions, prevalent components in raw and wastewaters, has been relatively overlooked in this context. To address this gap, this study has investigated the impact of three common anions (i.e., chloride, sulfate, and phosphate) on Al-based coagulation. The results have shown that the influence of anions on coagulation depends predominantly on their ability to compete with hydroxyl groups throughout the entire coagulation process, encompassing hydrolysis, aggregation, and the growth of large flocs. Moreover, this competition is subject to the dual influence of both anion concentration and hydroxyl concentration (i.e., pH). The results have revealed the intricate interplay between anions and coagulants, their impact on floc structure, and their importance in optimizing coagulation efficiency and ensuring the production of high-quality water.

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