Fractal analysis of flocs formed in edible oil-water emulsions by image analysis techniques
Edible oil is an important contaminant in water and wastewater. Oil droplets smaller than 40 μm may remain in effluent as an emulsion and combine with other contaminants in water. Coagulation/flocculation processes are used to remove oil droplets from water and wastewater. By adding a polymer at proper dose, small oil droplets can be flocculated and separated from water. The purpose of this study was to characterize and analyze the morphology of flocs and floc formation in edible oil-water emulsions by using microscopic image analysis techniques. The fractal dimension, concentration of polymer, effect of pH and temperature are investigated and analyzed to develop a fractal model of the flocs. Three types of edible oil (corn, olive, and sunflower oil) at concentrations of 600 ppm (by volume) were used to determine the optimum polymer dosage and effect of pH and temperature. To find the optimum polymer dose, polymer was added to the oil-water emulsions at concentration of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 ppm (by volume). The clearest supernatants obtained from flocculation of corn, olive, and sunflower oil were achieved at polymer dosage of 3.0 ppm producing turbidities of 4.52, 12.90, and 13.10 NTU, respectively. This concentration of polymer was subsequently used to study the effect of pH and temperature on flocculation. The effect of pH was studied at pH 5, 7, 9, and 11 at 30°C. Microscopic image analysis was used to investigate the morphology of flocs in terms of fractal dimension, radius of oil droplets trapped in floc, floc size, and histograms of oil droplet distribution. Fractal dimension indicates the density of oil droplets captured in flocs. By comparison of fractal dimensions, pH was found to be one of the most important factors controlling droplet flocculation. Neutral pH or pH 7 showed the highest degree of flocculation, while acidic (pH 5) and basic pH (pH 9 and pH 11) showed low efficiency of flocculation. The fractal dimensions achieved from flocculation of corn, olive, and sunflower oil at pH 7 and temperature 30°C were 1.2763, 1.3592, and 1.4413, respectively. The effect of temperature was explored at temperatures 20°, 30°, and 40°C and pH 7. The results of flocculation of oil at pH 7 and different temperatures revealed that temperature significantly affected flocculation. The fractal dimension of flocs formed in corn, olive and sunflower oil emulsion at pH 7 and temperature 20°, 30°, and 40°C were 1.82, 1.28, 1.29, 1.62, 1.36, 1.42, 1.36, 1.44, and 1.28, respectively. After comparison of fractal dimension, radius of oil droplets captured, and floc length in each oil type, the optimal flocculation temperature was determined to be 30°C. ^
Environmental Sciences|Engineering, Environmental
"Fractal analysis of flocs formed in edible oil-water emulsions by image analysis techniques"
(January 1, 2002).
ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU.