This paper reports the study of micro-processes in a novel pre-treatment technique using a pellet forming batch flow vortex reactor of cylindrical shape that consists of axially revolving rotor plates between fixed stator plates. The suspension was first mixed with high molecular weight synthetic polymers by stirring for approximately 50 seconds and then agitated for 20 minutes. The process was optimised for a number of operating conditions including polymer type and dosing regimen, rotation speed, wall-plate gap distance, residence time and suspension filling method. The results of the investigation show that optimising a number of process variables that influence floc formation and growth, along with specific apparatus construction and geometry help to maintain the suspension in a metastable state that is crucial for the formation of pellet-like compact agglomerates with better dewaterability and uniform aggregate size. A maximum dry solids content of 28.3% after gravity dewatering through a 0.5 mm sieve was recorded during the investigation, with a maximum particle removal efficiency of 97.5%.
- floc stability
- pelleting flocculation
- First received 14 May 2015.
- Accepted in revised form 16 July 2015.
- © IWA Publishing 2015