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A new technique for measuring the ζ-potential of organic sludge floe formed by cationic polyelectrolyte addition: description and application

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A new technique for measuring the ζ-potential of organic sludge floe formed by cationic polyelectrolyte addition was devised to efucidate the flocculation mechanism. The ζ-potential was calculated from the generated electric potentials and the pressure drop formed by forcing the flow of an electrolyte solution over the surface of flat samples. The flat samples were made by compressive dewatering of flocculated sludge. The results obtained were considered to correspond to the potential of the Hoc surface. The ζ-potential of flocculated sludge samples changed in sign from negative to positive with an increase in the amount canonic polyelectrolyte. The cationic polyelectrolyte dosage whereby the ζ-potential becomes zero and the optimum dosage at which the de-watering of flocculated sludge attains a maximum coincided. Because the repulsive force between particles decreases at that dosage (that is, at the break point) owing to the neutralization of the electric charge of particle surfaces, particles approach one another and a floe with good dewatering characteristics is produced.

Keywords: cationic polyelectrolyte; flocculation; floe; solid-liquid separation; streaming potential; zeta-potential

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1992

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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