Influence of Chitosan Characteristics and Environmental Conditions on Flocculation of Anaerobic Sludge

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The effects of chitosan characteristics (i.e., degree of deacetylation [DD] and molecular weight) and environmental conditions (i.e., ionic strength and pH) on the flocculation of anaerobic sludge were investigated. The results showed that chitosan enhanced the flocculation of sludge, and the flocculation efficiency depended on both the degree of deacetylation and molecular weight. Chitosan with 85%DD was more effective than that with 70%DD, as the former required a lower dose to obtain 90% flocculation at all studied pH values. In addition, low molecular weight chitosan enhanced the flocculation better than high molecular weight chitosan. The increase in ionic strength (up to 0.1 M) of the suspension helped reduce restabilization that occurred when chitosan was overdosed. In general, chitosan has potential to be used as an effective cationic bioflocculant, which is able to function either in acidic or neutral conditions, and very small amounts of chitosan (less than 4 mg/g dried sludge) are required.

Keywords: anaerobic sludge; chitosan; deacetylation; flocculation; zeta potential

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2006

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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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