Phosphorus removal in low alkalinity secondary effluent using alum

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The alkalinity plays an important role in phosphorus removal using coagulant. The dosage of coagulant in the low alkalinity wastewater is limited due to rapid pH changes. In the present study, a series of jar test was conducted using low alkalinity wastewater (50 mg/L) to evaluate the optimum pH, dosage and performance parameters (slow mixing and settling time) for the common coagulant alum. From the experiment, it was found that the dosage of coagulant and removal of phosphorus depend upon the pH of the wastewater after adding coagulant. The final optimum pH for efficient P removal was found to be within the range of 5.7-5.9. This range acts as an indicator and it is the maximum tolerable pH range for phosphorus removal for low alkalinity wastewater. The optimum time for slow mix and settling was found to be 20 min. The optimum mole ratio of alum to remove one mole of phosphorous was found to be 2.3. The alum coagulation at pH 7 produced effluent with the total residual phosphorus and reactive phosphorus content of 0.3 and 0.9 mg/L, respectively.

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