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RESEARCH ARTICLE  [Accepted]
Flocculation properties of a natural polyampholyte: The optimum condition toward clay suspensions
Mohammad Nazarzadeh1, Nasser Nikfarjam2, and Nader Taheri Qazvini1,3
1Polymer Division, School of Chemistry, College of Science, University of Tehran, P.O. Box 14155-6455, Iran
2Department of Chemistry, Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences, Zanjan P. O. Box 45195-1159, Iran
3Biomaterials Research Center (BRC), University of Tehran, P.O. Box 13145-1384, Tehran, Iran
Corresponding Author: Nasser Nikfarjam ,Email: nikfarjam@iasbs.ac.ir
Received: July 17, 2016;  Accepted: February 14, 2017.
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ABSTRACT
Polyelectrolytes are commonly used as flocculants in drinking water treatment. However the growing concerns about their toxicity have motivated the search for biocompatible flocculants. Here, we show that gelatin, a natural amphoteric polyelectrolyte, can be effectively adsorbed on clay surfaces and can potentially be a suitable substitute for existing flocculants. The adsorption of gelatin from its aqueous solution onto the mineral clay surfaces at different conditions was systematically investigated using the design of experiments methodology. The gelatin adsorption was found to vary considerately with pH variation showed a maximum adsorption at its isoelectric point. The amount of adsorbed gelation increased with increasing pH from 3 to 5, attained a maximum at pH 5 and then decreased with increasing pH from 5 to 11. Similarly, the amount of adsorbed gelatin showed decreasing trends around salt concentration of 0.05 M and temperature 35°C. On the other hand, the adsorption was continuously increased with time and polymer concentration in the range of 0.1-0.9 mg/dL. Finally, the jar tests confirmed the ability of gelatin for using a natural flocculant for water treatment.
Keywords: Amphoteric polyelectrolytes | Clay | Flocculation | Surface adsorption | Water treatment
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