Rapid Characterisation of Suspensions for Waste Treatment and Resource Recovery

18 December 2020, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


A simple device for the conduct of stepped pressure filtration measurements is described together with methods for making the empirical measurements and interpreting the data obtained. The data interpretation method applies a multi-step systematic approach, with each step supported by statistical justification, to characterise: filter cake particle stress, filtration diffusivity and cake hydraulic resistivity from a single stepped pressure experiment. The methods enable different flocculant materials to be more rapidly and more appropriately screened than conventional jar tests and large scale filtration trials. The methods are applied to the characterisation of a paint residue treated with aluminium sulphate and “PolyClay”.
The work shows that the addition of “PolyClay” as a filter aide reduces the hydraulic resistivity at lower solids concentrations but increases it at higher concentrations whilst simultaneously increasing the particle stress. Together these have a combined deleterious effect on the time and energy required to dewater the residues to high solids concentration by filtration. The results also show that a significant change in suspension behaviour occurs between the “PolyClay” doses of 140 mg l-1 and 660 mg l-1 and that further changes up to “PolyClay” doses of 1600 mg l-1 are more modest. The results indicate the existence an opportunity to reduce “PolyClay” dose into a range between 10% and 50% of current practice. In addition the results provide evidence that alternative, centrifuge based, technology is worthy of investigation.


Filtration diffusivity
Yield stress
Stepped pressure method
Paint residues
Suspension dewatering


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