Salinity effect on mechanical dewatering of sludge with and without chemical conditioning

Irene M.C. Lo, Keith C.K. Lai, Guohua Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


The salinity levels of wastewater and sludge are relatively high in some coastal cities as they may use saline water for toilet flushing, and as such, the sludge dewaterability can be affected by it. The salinity effect on sludge dewaterability was therefore investigated through experimental testing of specific resistance in filtration (SRF), time to filter (TTF), and final solid content of sludge. SRF and TTF were determined using Buchner funnel tests. The final solid content was estimated by centrifuging the sludge at four levels of rotational speed. Sludge with three salinity levels (5 000, 10 000 and 20 000 ppm) were considered in this study. Coagulants such as alum, iron(II) sulfate, and organic polyelectrolytes were added to the sludge to study the dewaterability of such sludge with chemical conditioning. Experimental results show that doubling the salinity level of the sludge from 10 000 to 20 000 ppm shows not much change in SRF and TTF. Compared with the sludge without chemical conditioning, the addition of the coagulants to the sludge at a salinity level of 5000 ppm drastically reduces its SRF and TTF. However, sludge with and without chemical conditioning at a salinity of 20 000 ppm has similar SRF and TTF. The final solid content of sludge increases almost linearly with salinity. Among the coagulants used in this study, the cationic polyelectrolyte is found to be better in improving sludge dewaterability, while iron(II) sulfate performs slightly better in enhancing the final solid content of the sludge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4691-4696
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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