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Clarification follows coagulation and flocculation. It is an essential unit operation employed to remove flocs and any suspended solids from the water being treated. In a traditional setup, this is done by gravity settling, where the solids are allowed to naturally settle. However, new systems make use of dissolved air flotation, where small air bubbles carry the flocs to the surface of the water. These flocs are then skimmed and collected in a separate tank. Here, the retention time is faster than traditional gravity sedimentation.

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Traditional gravity settlers are a popular clarification method, but there are some disadvantages to it. Aside from the large area needed for installation, the retention time is considerably high. Some particles are also not allowed to settle, especially those that... (More)

Retention time depends on the configuration of the tank used. Typically, it is 60 minutes for circular tanks and 90 minutes for rectangular tanks. However, this could vary depending on the depth and surface area of the tank.

Dissolved air flotation is used when treating wastewater with lightweight pollutants like oils. Because such pollutants are so light, sedimentation is mostly ineffective.

While both separation processes are well in use across various industries, the deciding factors lie on the budget, space, and retention time. In most cases, conventional sedimentation setups are cheaper than DAF units, but require more space and have higher... (More)