Removal of microalgae from seawater using chitosan-alum/ferric chloride dual coagulations

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During algal bloom, it's a challenge to provide good quality feed water, and ensure sustainable RO plant operations without an adequate pre-treatment of seawater. In this paper, the effectiveness of the coagulation process with the individual and dual coagulants, using alum, FeCl3 and chitosan, were explored aiming to remove microalgae from seawater. The coagulation-flocculation-sedimentation (C-F-S) experiments were conducted by optimizing multiple process strategies to reduce the amounts of coagulants and also to shorten the sedimentation process time. The coagulation-flocculation-dissolved air flotation (C-F-D) experiments were performed to generate the process data in order to evaluate the dual coagulation process performance of the C-F-S system. C-F-S experiments using FeCl3 coagulant gave better process performance (20 ppm FeCl3 dose, 8.2 pH, 30 min sedimentation time and 98% microalgae removal efficiency) when compared to alum and chitosan based individual coagulations. The process time of the coagulation process was significantly reduced by the addition of chitosan as a flocculent aid. For dual coagulation using alum (10 ppm) as coagulant and chitosan (1 ppm) as flocculent aid improved microalgae removal efficiency to 98% at a reduced process time of 5 min, making C-F-S process as attractive as C-F-D process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018



  • Bioflocculant
  • Coagulation-flocculation-sedimentation process
  • Dual coagulation
  • Harmful algal bloom (HAB)
  • Microalgae removal
  • Sustainable seawater feed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering

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