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Pure and Applied Chemistry

The Scientific Journal of IUPAC

Ed. by Burrows, Hugh / Stohner, Jürgen

12 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 5.294

CiteScore 2017: 3.42

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Volume 73, Issue 12


Hydrolyzing metal salts as coagulants

John Gregory
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jinming Duan
  • Corresponding author
  • Ian Wark Research Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5095, Australia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2009-01-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1351/pac200173122017

Aluminium and ferric salts are widely used as coagulants in water and wastewater treatment. They are effective in removing a broad range of impurities from water, including colloidal particles and dissolved organic substances. Their mode of action is broadly understood in terms of essentially two mechanisms: charge neutralization of negatively charged colloids by cationic hydrolysis products and incorporation of impurities in an amorphous precipitate of metal hydroxide. The relative importance of these two mechanisms depends on many factors, especially pH and coagulant dosage.

Alternative coagulants based on prehydrolyzed forms of aluminium or iron can be more effective than the traditional materials in many cases, but their mode of action is not completely understood, especially with regard to the role of charge neutralization and hydroxide precipitation.

Basic principles of colloid stability and metal ion hydrolysis are briefly reviewed, and the action of hydrolyzing metal coagulants is then discussed, with some examples from recent experimental studies. Although it is possible to interpret results reasonably well in terms of established ideas, there are still some uncertainties that need to be resolved


IUPAC/ICSU Workshop on Electrochemistry and Interfacial Chemistry in Environmental Clean-up and Green Chemical Processes, Coimbra, Portugal, 2001-04-06–2001-04-07

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Published Online: 2009-01-01

Published in Print: 2001-01-01

Citation Information: Pure and Applied Chemistry, Volume 73, Issue 12, Pages 2017–2026, ISSN (Online) 1365-3075, ISSN (Print) 0033-4545, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1351/pac200173122017.

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