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Treatment of Potato FarmWastewater with Coagulation  Open Access

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 33(1): 95-101. (doi: 10.13031/aea.11609) @2017
Authors:   Vera K Bosak, Andrew C VanderZaag, Anna Crolla, Christopher Kinsley, S. Shea Miller, Denise Chabot, Robert J Gordon
Keywords:   Agriculture, Aluminum sulfate, Coagulation, Ferric chloride, Polymer, Potato wastewater.


The processing wastewater from an on-farm potato storage facility contains substantial concentrations of colloidal particles that are hard to remove through sedimentation alone. This study evaluated coagulation as a potential approach for reducing total suspended solid levels. Wastewater was coagulated with two proprietary Nalco polymers, as well as aluminum sulfate (alum) and ferric chloride (FeCl3). One of the Nalco polymers required the smallest volume to achieve 50%, 75%, or 90% total suspended solids removal. However, alum was consistently the least expensive product, despite the larger volume required. Although cost is an important factor for farmers, the convenience of using a smaller volume and the effects of coagulation on pH are also important factors to consider. Both polymers had minimal effect on pH, whereas alum and FeCl3 resulted in a pH below 6 at high concentrations. In consequence, alum and FeCl3 require additional chemicals to maintain a biologically neutral pH, thus also requiring extra work and expense. Future research should focus on on-farm coagulant trials to verify laboratory results and optimize protocols for on-farm use.

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