Flocculation is the process whereby smaller particles
(inorganic and organic), water-stable soil aggregates, or flocs
aggregate to form larger particles (flocs) in a flowing medium. The
formation of flocs is a complicated process that is driven by a
combination of mechanisms, physical (e.g., turbulence), chemical (e.g.,
ionic concentration), and biological (bacterial populations and
extracellular polymeric material).
The flocculation process is
significant for sediment and contaminant transport, because it alters
the hydrodynamic characteristics of suspended sediment: the effective
particle sizes, shapes, porosity, density, water content, and
compositional matrices of flocs differ significantly from those of the
traditionally assumed primary particles.
Flocculation also alters the chemical and biological behavior of
sediment in terms of how it interacts with contaminants and the
biological community and how it alters or degrades the contaminants or
nutrients assimilated within or around the floc.
technology creates a continuous flocculation effect by
charging suspended particles, which encourages the creation of floc.
The floc is allows for these larger particles to be filtered more
easily, and filter backwashing is accomplished in a significantly
reduced amount of time. The floc stays closer to the surface of
the filter medium, instead of deeply imbedding within it, thus reducing
the amount of time to conduct a backwash, and the frequency intervals
are extended significantly.