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Polymers are often used to condition residual solids from water and wastewater treatment, because this can provide significant improvements in dewatering. Due to the expense of these polymers, and the variability of biosolids and residuals properties, methods for the real-time monitoring of this conditioning process would be beneficial. Technologies have recently been developed for comparable application in wastewater treatment, and this paper reports on their potential use in the context of water treatment. The project scope included both laboratory jar tests and full-scale “doseresponse” tests. Viscosity, streaming current, and liquid-stream light-scattering or blockage sensors were the three approaches assessed. All three use the liquid-stream flow from the dewatering device (the filtrate or centrate) to indicate the state of the chemical conditioning process. All of the three on-line characterization methods were found feasible for use as a monitoring tool for operator use. However, if use for direct feedback control of polymer dose is to be considered, the dependability and control aspects become more crucial. In this case, the relative merits of each are likely to be plant-specific, and full-scale tests are recommended. Results allowed specific advantages of each method to be identified, as well as some new insights into mechanisms involved in the chemical conditioning of residuals.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2003

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