Flocculation kinetics and hydrodynamic interactions in natural and engineered flow systems: A review

  • Oyegbile, Benjamin (Brandenburgische Technische Universitat Cottbus-Senftenberg) ;
  • Ay, Peter (Department of Technical Environment and Climate Protection, Lubeck University of Applied Sciences) ;
  • Narra, Satyanarayana (Brandenburgische Technische Universitat Cottbus-Senftenberg)
  • Received : 2015.08.01
  • Accepted : 2016.03.03
  • Published : 2016.03.31


Flocculation is a widely used phase separation technique in industrial unit processes and is typically observed in many natural flow systems. Advances in colloidal chemistry over the past decades has vastly improved our understanding of this phenomenon. However, in many practical applications, process engineering still lags developments in colloidal science thereby creating a gap in knowledge. While significant progress has been made in environmental process engineering research over the past decades, there is still a need to align these two inter-dependent fields of research more closely. This paper provides a comprehensive review of the flocculation mechanism from empirical and theoretical perspective, discuss its practical applications, and examines the need and direction of future research.


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