Performance evaluation of Fe-based water treatment sludge for dewatering of iron ore tailings slurry using coagulation-flocculation process: Optimization through response surface methodology
Yaghoobian, S.; Hasani Zonoozi, M.; Saeedi, M.
Journal of Environmental Management 316: 115240
This research attempted to investigate the feasibility of using drinking water treatment sludge (ferric chloride sludge, FCS) as a coagulant for turbidity removal from iron ore tailings slurry. The evaluation was performed in two phases. In the first phase, the one factor at a time (OFAT) approach was used to study the effects of FCS dosage, initial pH, and initial turbidity on turbidity removal efficiency (TR%) and the volume of the sediment produced at the end of the process (SV). In the second phase, response surface methodology (RSM) was employed to assess the individual and interaction effects of the parameters on TR% and SV. Numerical multiple-response optimization was carried out using RSM to maximize TR% and minimize SV simultaneously. At optimum condition (FCS dose of 0.13 g dried FCS/L, initial pH of 10, and initial turbidity of 538 NTU), the removal of all particles in the range of 0.25-1 μm and 2-55 μm from slurry led to the TR% of 78.80% and SV of 0.74 mL (per 250 mL of tailings). Characterization tests indicated that at alkaline pH values, the higher presence of hydroxide compounds intensified the enmeshment in a precipitate or sweep-floc mechanism, which was the predominant removal mechanism in this work. This study demonstrated the remarkable performance of FCS as a coagulant in water reclamation from iron beneficiation wastewater.