Coupling magnetic particles with flocculants to enhance demulsification and separation of waste cutting emulsion for engineering applications

Kaiming Peng , Yongjiao Xiong , Baoqiang Wu , Xiangfeng Huang , Chenlu Li , Bin Lu , Jia Liu , Lijun Lu , Shiyang Li


Received November 08, 2020,Revised , Accepted December 31, 2020, Available online January 18, 2021

Volume 33,2021,Pages 173-183

Magnetic particles were coupled with a flocculant to enhance the demulsification and separation of waste cutting emulsions. The optimal magnetic particle size and critical magnetic field conditions were investigated to achieve large-scale engineering application of magnetic demulsification separation for waste cutting emulsion treatment. The micro-scale magnetic particles were found to show comparable effects to nano-scale magnetic particles on enhancing the demulsification and separation of cutting emulsions, which are beneficial for broadening the selectivity of low-cost magnetic particles. The critical magnetic separation region was determined to be an area 40 mm from the magnetic field source. Compared to the flocculant demulsification, the magnetic demulsification separation exhibited a significant advantage in accelerating flocs–water separation by decreasing the separation time of flocs from 180–240 min to less than 15 min, compressing the flocs by reducing the floc volume ratio from 60%–90% to lower than 20%, and showing excellent adaptability to the variable properties of waste cutting emulsions. Coupled with the design of the magnetic disk separator, continuous demulsification separation of the waste cutting emulsion was achieved at 1.0 t/hr for at least 10 hr to obtain clear effluent with 81% chemical oxygen demand removal and 89% turbidity reduction. This study demonstrates the feasibility of applying magnetic demulsification separation to large-scale continuous treatment of waste emulsion. Moreover, it addresses the flocs–water separation problems that occur in practical flocculant demulsification engineering applications.

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