How to Use Polyacrylamide for Water Treatment

cationic polyacrylamide   anionic polyacrylamide
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Polyacrylamide (PAM) is a type flocculant of polymer that is soluble in water, and it is formed through acrylamide polymerization. It can be adjusted for use in a wide range of applications. This type of polymer is produced and sold in different forms, which include cationic polyacrylamide, anionic polyacrylamide, and non-anionic. The primary role of polyacrylamide is to flocculate or coagulate solid particles in a specific liquid. This explains why it is highly used for water treatment.

Its ability to increase water viscosity makes it the best for different applications. It is used for enhanced oil recovery in the petroleum industry. Polyacrylamide is also a perfect stabilizer and binder. This makes it best for the production of lotions. The paper industry also benefits significantly from this type of polymer because of its ability to bind pulp fibers. More applications include soil conditioning, manufacturing of textiles, food additive, processing ores, and mining. The most popular use of this type of polymer is water treatment.

Polyacrylamide Flocculant for Water Treatment

PAM is widely used in a variety of water treatment applications. They include the purification of industrial water, sewage treatment, drainage purification, and wastewater treatment. Polyacrylamide is ideal for water treatment because of its ability to increase viscosity and promote flocculation of particles. Flocculation is a process where suspended particles precipitate in a fluid to form a clump or floc. It is an essential process in water treatment.

PAM has good coagulation qualities that make it the best for water purification. Coagulation is all about changing a liquid to a solid or half-solid state by adding a specific chemical or coagulant. Polyacrylamide products also combine with water to produce insoluble hydroxides. This results in precipitation where the insoluble hydroxides combine to form meshes that can trap tiny particles into a more significant mass. Separating the larger masses of solids from water is a simple process. The variance of PAM to use will depend on the type of wastewater. Other determining factors include chemicals, acids, and pollutants in the water.

To use PAM correctly for your purification needs, you have to consider the type of wastewater you are dealing with. You will know the solid particles and other impurities in the water you intend to treat. This will help you go about the procedure as required with the right PAM dosage. You can also pick one with all the qualities needed for the kind of purification you plan to do. There is an option of using PAM with polyaluminum chloride (PAC) for water treatment.

PAM/PAC Water Treatment

Polyaluminum chloride (PAC) is an inorganic chemical with a polymeric structure that is soluble in water. Using it together with PAM can help you meet your purification needs. The combination works perfectly for industrial water purification, sewage treatment, and the purification of urban drainage systems. One good thing about PAC is that it has an excellent flocculation impact.

Using it together with PAM, which has the right coagulation qualities will help you achieve the desired results. A perfect example is sewage treatment. Using one of the two will not get rid of all the impurities as required. This is because of high organic matter in the type of sludge found in sewage. Adding an inorganic flocculant like PAC can help get rid of the organic matter quickly. You should put into consideration the intervals of your dosages and procedure of addition.

The joint use of these two chemicals is meant to increase the volume of the already formed floc, allowing it to precipitate fully. PAC has a short reaction period, which requires proper mixing. It is different in PAM, which has a more extended reaction period. You should do proper mixing once and ensure everything is carried out uniformly. This will reduce the chance of the floc or mass of solid from breaking and leaving the water impure once again. Using the two is another ideal purification option.

Choosing Right Cationic Polyacrylamide Flocculant or Anionic Polyacrylamide Flocculant Solutions for Your Project

There are two common types of polyacrylamide flocculant, which include organic and inorganic. The kind you choose largely depends on the qualities of the wastewater you plan to treat. You also need to understand the additional procedures of a specific PAM and how it is used. Colloid concentration in water and the number of suspended particles can help you settle for the right polyacrylamide.  

A colloid is any element made up of particles that are considerably larger than atoms and molecules but less visible to the human eye. You can settle for the inorganic PAM if for fast flocculation. For small flocs, other coagulation agents, together with high molecular PAM, can be used. The elements and pH value of the water to be treated are other factors to consider. The inorganic polyacrylamide is the ideal option in such a situation.

Look for an optimum model of this type of PAM. When choosing an organic PAM, you have to consider if it is anionic polyacrylamide of cationic polyacrylamide. Anionic polyacrylamide can be categorized into strong, medium, and weak. This is according to their hydrolysis reaction. Cationic polyacrylamide is widely used for municipal sewage treatment. Its sludge dewatering qualities make it the best for sewage treatment.

Cationic polyacrylamide flocculant is grouped depending on its levels of ionicity. The ionicity levels include strong, medium, and weak. Cationic PAM with weak ionicity is the best for sludge dewatering and is used in paper-making and dyeing industries. The one with strong ionicity is used in the treatment of medical wastewater. Different aspects can help you choose the right type of polyacrylamide. Aspects you should look out for include:
Molecular Structure
The PAM’s molecular structure may depend on purification action needed. Different structures of cationic polyacrylamide flocculant include:
●    Linear Structure- Once you settle for the perfect molecular weight, dosages become less, and the purification performance will improve. This is possible if the water treatment is made with linear PAM.
●    Dendritic Structure-  It is a medium dosage that can help improve treatment performance.
●    Cross-linked Structure- It is a big dose that can help improve water filtering. 

Water Particles
We have seen how the amount of particles in wastewater is an essential factor when choosing a PAM flocculant. Negatively charged polyacrylamide is ideal for capturing particles in inorganics sewage. It is different for water with organic particles that should be treated with positively charged PAM. Specific machines can be used to help you understand the best PAM. This is through some of the tests to be conducted. 

Ionic Degree
Also referred to as the charge density, it is another aspect you should look into carefully to pick the best polyacrylamide for your water purification needs. Polyacrylamide charge can be positive or negative. This can also help to determine the flocculation results in the event a minimum quantity is used. Charge density may depend on the type of sludge. A perfect example is in municipal sewage treatment. The type of sludge is this sewage is full of organic matter. Organic content has a connection with the number of volatile components in it. Higher volatile content will require an increased PAM charge. 

Look at the qualities of the wastewater you intend to treat to choose the right polyacrylamide flocculant. You will be able to pick one according to different attributes like dosage, costs and how flocculent it is.
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