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This laboratory report discusses an experiment about sedimentation.

Sedimentation experiment is done by the students to know the effect of initial
concentration and to plot the relationship of it with the settling rate (settling time) and
settling velocity. Also, to know the effect of initial height on sedimentation
characteristics and plot them into graphs that shows the relationship between the
settling velocity and concentration.
Sedimentation is simply the process of letting suspended material settle by
gravity. It is accomplished by decreasing the velocity of the water being treated to a
point below which the particles will no longer remain in suspension. When the
velocity no longer supports the transport of the particles, gravity will remove them
from the flow. In a glass cylinder, when solids diffuse through the interface, the
process starts then to settle from a slurry during a batch settling test and assumed to
approach terminal velocities under hindered settling conditions. Thus, several zones
of concentration will be established. The particle is not actually sent all the way to the
bottom of the cell, resulting in a sediment. Rather, a low centrifugal field is used to
create a concentration gradient- where more particles near the bottom of the cell than
near the top. When the temperature decreases, the rate of settling becomes slower. The
result is that as the water cools, the detention time in the sedimentation cylinder must
increase. As sedimentation continues, heights of each zone vary and the point at
which a single distinct interface forms between liquid and sediments will be reach.
Industrial sedimentation operations may be carried out batch wise or
continuously in equipment called thickeners. In batch sedimentation, the thickener
(cylindrical tank with openings for slurry feed and product draw off) is filled with a
dilute slurry, and the slurry is permitted to settle. After a desired period of time, clear
liquid is decanted until sludge appears on the draw off. The sludge is removed from
the tank through a bottom opening.
Commercial batch sedimentation using large tanks is very much similar in a
laboratory operation using graduated cylinder so that the mechanism involved may be
best studied by observing what occurs during a batch settling test in graduated
Figure 2-2.a shows newly prepared slurry of uniform concentration of uniform solid
particles throughout the cylinder. As soon as the process starts, all particles begin to
settle and are assumed to approach rapidly the terminal velocities under hindered
settling conditions. Several zones of concentration will be established (Figure 2-2.b).
Zone D of settled solids will predominantly include the heavier faster-settling
particles. In a poorly defined transition zone above the settled material, there are
channels through which fluid must rise. This fluid is forced from zone D as it
compresses. Zone C is a region of variable size distribution and non-uniform
concentration. Zone B is a uniform concentration zone, of approximately the same
concentration and distribution as initially. At the top of region B is a boundary above

which is clear liquid, region A. if the original slurry is closely sized with respect to the
smallest particles, the line between A and B is sharp.
As sedimentation continues, the heights of each zone vary as indicated in Figure 22.b,c,d. Note that both A and D grow larger at the expense of B. Eventually, a point is
reached where B and C disappear and all the solids appear in D; this is referred to as
the critical settling point (Figure 2-2.c) that is, the point at which a single interface
forms between clear liquid and sediment and the height of this sediment is called the
critical height. The sedimentation process from this point consists of a low
compression of the solids, with the liquid from the boundary layer of each particle
being forced upward through the solids into the clear zone. Settling rates are very
slow in this dense slurry and it will take a very long time to attain the ultimate height,
Z of the sediments. The final is an extreme case of hindered settling.
The rate of settling (sedimentation rate) of solid particles in a graduated cylinder can
be expressed in terms of height z. In free settling zone (zone B), the terminal velocity,
u, of a is by
Ut= (Zo-Zc)/c
Where: Zo = initial height of the slurry; Zc = height of the interface between clear
liquid and slurry when Zone B disappears; c = time when the solid particles reach
Zc from Zo.
1. Screen approximately 1 kg of Kaolin in a Ro Tap sieve shaker to obtain minus 100
mesh particle size and plus 60 mesh particle size CaCO.
2. Label the 5 cylinders in the sedimentation study apparatus as cylinder A, B, C, D,
and E.
3. Prepare approximately the following mixture:
Mixture A: 900 of 5% wt CaCO (minus 100 mesh particle size)
Mixture B: 900 of 5% wt CaCO (plus 60 mesh particle size)
Mixture C: 900 of 10% wt CaCO (plus 60 mesh particle size)
Mixture D: 600 of 5% wt CaCO (plus 60 mesh particle size)
Mixture E: 600 of 5% wt CaCO (minus 100 mesh particle size)
Make sure that all the solid particles are uniformly dispersed by carefully mixing the
suspension. Avoid too much agitation to prevent break up of some solids into smaller
4. With careful agitation, pour the mixture into the cylinders in the sedimentation
studies apparatus. Mixture A in cylinder A, mixture B in cylinder B, and so on.

5. Record the initial height and temperature of the mixture and the inside diameter of
the cylinders.
6. Monitor and record the height of the clear liquid, height of slurry, and the height of
the sediments every given time interval (say every 2 minutes) until the readings
become practically constant.
7. Carefully stir again the mixture then repeat procedure 6 for trial 2.
8. After trial, allow the mixture to stand overnight to determine the final height
(infinite height) of sediments and clear liquid.