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Polishing Treatment of Molasses Wastewater with Iron Salts: the Role of Counter-ions

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The effect of counter-ions on the coagulation of biologically treated molasses wastewater using iron-based coagulants was investigated. Parameters such as removals of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and color, and residual turbidity, were measured to evaluate coagulation performance. Experimental results showed that ferric chloride and ferric nitrate were more effective than ferric sulfate at optimal dosages, achieving 89 to 90% and 98 to 99% of COD and color removals, respectively, with residual turbidity of less than 5 NTU. High-performance size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC) results revealed differences in the removal of the molecular weight fraction of organic compounds using iron salts. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed randomly formed coagulated flocs characterized with irregular, sheet-like shapes. Nitrate and chloride counter-ions had similar effects on coagulation performance compared to sulfate. Both FeCl3 and Fe(NO3)3 yielded better results than Fe(SO4)2 under underdosed and optimum dosage conditions. Coagulation efficiency was less adversely affected in the overdosed regions, however, if sulfate rather than chloride or nitrate was present.
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Keywords: Molasses effluent; coagulation; counter-ions; high-performance size exclusion chromatography; iron-based coagulants; scanning electron microscopy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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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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