Polymer flocculant, also known as polyelectrolyte, in water and wastewater treatment is available in basically two forms based on their method of polymerization: liquid or powder. Both have different advantages. The biggest advantage of powder flocculant is obviously its high active content, which makes storage and delivery of the products more efficient. However, it is the reality that many people care a few other factors than just its active content or transportation efficiency when they choose a polymer flocculant. Here, let's take a look at reasons why liquid flocculant is considered better than powder flocculant to certain people.
1. Only liquid flocculant can be produced in cross-linked structure as of today.
CHEM.ENGI explains well about the advantages of cross-linked polymer in this article, but cross-linked polymer can be more versatile and low-dosage thanks to its structure. As there is no such thing as standardized wastewater or sludge, versatility is what a plant operator appreciates.
2. Less maintenance
Powder flocculant absorbs moisture in the air very quickly, which requires anti-moisture provisions at every stage from storing to dosing. It is not rare to see people, who chose powder flocculant trying to save some money, ended up spending more for a more expensive polymer make-up system than the one for liquid (about 50% more expensive), and for the daily maintenance that is required due to the blockage of powder flocculant feeder despite the anti-moisture design. With liquid flocculant, there will be no such maintenance required and therefore the labor cost can be much less.
3. Shorter maturation time
Basically liquid flocculant does not require maturation time while powder flocculant requires at least 40 minutes of maturation time before you can even start to use. This leads to a more expensive equipment because you will need additional maturation tank and a mixer and more maintenance.
It cannot be said that a liquid flocculant is better than the powder, as it depends on an application and environment. Based on our study for sludge dewatering application, we suggest that the following environments should be checked to determine whether a liquid or powder your flocculant should be. The humidity in the environment, whether your plant can afford a dedicated operator who can clean the blockage of a flocculant feeder by the powder flocculant, type of sludge, consumption of the flocculant, and stability of sludge quality. Should you have any concern, please feel free to ask us!