Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Statistical analysis and optimisation of coagulation-flocculation process for recovery of kaolinite and calcium carbonate from suspensions using xanthan gum


D. Vadibeler, E. C. Ugwu, N. Martínez-Villegas, B. Sen Gupta

Recieved Date: 2022-01-20, Accepted Date: 2020-03-18


This paper explores the efficiency of xanthan gum, a natural polymer and food additive as a flocculant in the recovery of fine kaolinite particles from a suspension. Xanthan gum was benchmarked against alum for kaolinite recovery. Its efficiency was tested for the removal of calcium carbonate (CaCO3 ) particles from suspension. Statistical optimisation using Box-Behnken Design (BBD) revealed that at pH 6, 8 mg/L of alum and 6 mg/L of xanthan gum would result in 100% turbidity removal. However, an experimental run using these predicted values recorded 96.58% of turbidity removal efficiency. Additionally, 73.20% of fine kaolinite and 70.00% of fine CaCO3 particles were successfully recovered using the proposed method. These results suggest that for recovering commonly used minerals in food industry, such as kaolinite and CaCO3 , xanthan gum can be used to substitute synthetic polyacrylamide (PAC) in conventional coagulation and flocculation method in the effluent treatment system. Xanthan gum being a food grade material, offers the scope for recovering and reusing such fines, saving cost and protecting the environment.


Suspensions, coagulation, flocculation, jar test, xanthan gum, flocs

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2020
Volume: 18
Issue: 2
Category: Environment
Pages: 103-109

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