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Treatment of Oily Wastewater by Fibrous Coalescer Process: Stage Coalescer and Model Prediction

Authors: Pisut Painmanakul, Kotchakorn Kongkangwarn, Nattawin Chawaloesphonsiya


The coalescer process is one of the methods for oily water treatment by increasing the oil droplet size in order to enhance the separating velocity and thus effective separation. However, the presence of surfactants in an oily emulsion can limit the obtained mechanisms due to the small oil size related with stabilized emulsion. In this regard, the purpose of this research is to improve the efficiency of the coalescer process for treating the stabilized emulsion. The effects of bed types, bed height, liquid flow rate and stage coalescer (step-bed) on the treatment efficiencies in term of COD values were studied. Note that the treatment efficiency obtained experimentally was estimated by using the COD values and oil droplet size distribution. The study has shown that the plastic media has more effective to attach with oil particles than the stainless one due to their hydrophobic properties. Furthermore, the suitable bed height (3.5 cm) and step bed (3.5 cm with 2 steps) were necessary in order to well obtain the coalescer performance. The application of step bed coalescer process in reactor has provided the higher treatment efficiencies in term of COD removal than those obtained with classical process. The proposed model for predicting the area under curve and thus treatment efficiency, based on the single collector efficiency (ηT) and the attachment efficiency (α), provides relatively a good coincidence between the experimental and predicted values of treatment efficiencies in this study.

Keywords: treatment efficiency, model prediction, Stage coalescer, stabilized emulsions

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