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Treatment of Paper and Pulp Mill Effluent by Coagulation

Authors: Pradeep Kumar, Tjoon Tow Teng, Shri Chand, Kailas L. Wasewar


The pulp and paper mill effluent is one of the high polluting effluent amongst the effluents obtained from polluting industries. All the available methods for treatment of pulp and paper mill effluent have certain drawbacks. The coagulation is one of the cheapest process for treatment of various organic effluents. Thus, the removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and colour of paper mill effluent is studied using coagulation process. The batch coagulation process was performed using various coagulants like: aluminium chloride, poly aluminium chloride and copper sulphate. The initial pH of the effluent (Coagulation pH) has tremendous effect on COD and colour removal. Poly aluminium chloride (PAC) as coagulant reduced COD to 84 % and 92 % of colour was removed at an optimum pH 5 and coagulant dose of 8 ml l-1. With aluminium chloride at an optimum pH = 4 and coagulant dose of 5 g l-1, 74 % COD and 86 % colour removal were observed. The results using copper sulphate as coagulant (a less commercial coagulant) were encouraging. At an optimum pH 6 and mass loading of 5 g l-1, 76 % COD reduction and 78 % colour reduction were obtained. It was also observed that after addition of coagulant, the pH of the effluent decreases. The decrease in pH was highest for AlCl3, which was followed by PAC and CuSO4. Significant amount of COD reductions was obtained by coagulation process. Since the coagulation process is the first stage for treatment of effluent and some of the coagulant cations usually remain in the treated effluents. Thus, cation like copper may be one of the good catalyst for second stage of treatment process like wet oxidation. The copper has been found to be good oxidation catalyst then iron and aluminum.

Keywords: wastewater treatment, Coagulation, Copper, PAC, Aluminium based coagulants, Pulp and paper mill effluent

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