Definition - What does Flocculant mean?

Flocculant is a loosely aggregated mass of flocculent material suspended or precipitated in a liquid. It consists of finely divided suspended particles in a larger, usually gelatinous particle, the result of physical attraction or adhesion to a coagulant compound. Flocculants are formed from a combination of suspended materials in raw water together with adsorbed and precipitated solids gained via coagulation. Flocs help to remove impurities from water during water purification.

Petropedia explains Flocculant

Flocculants are formed in a fluid through precipitation or aggregation of suspended particles. Flocs produced from hard/turbid waters are generally dense and possess much lower water content than flocs derived from the coagulation of soft humic waters. Flocs resulting from the combined influence of coagulation and flocculation play a vital role in solid-liquid separation processes. The design and operation of water treatment plants demands a proper understanding of the ways in which flocs affect treatment systems and how their properties can be manipulated to increase treatment efficiency. Flocs are important in water treatment. For example, treatment chemicals such as alum cause small particles to clump together. Gentle mixing brings smaller clumps of particles together to form larger groups called flocs. Some of the flocs settle during the coagulation stage. During the flocculation stage, the heavy, dense flocs settle to the bottom of the water in large tanks. Once the flocs settle, the water is ready for the next stage of treatment. Floc size is an important parameter in many solid-liquid separation processes and flocs need to grow to optimum size to easily settle out. Therefore, it is essential that they are not broken subsequently into smaller fragments during flocculation.

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