Crystal seeding for the control of sludge properties

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Virginia Tech


The object of this investigation was to determine, by the concept of specific resistance, the effect of certain variables on the filterability of calcium sulfate sludge resulting from lime neutralization of synthetic, return sludge seeded, sulfuric acid samples, The variables investigated were rate of mixing, rate of lime addition, degree of neutralization, return sludge loadings and acid concentration.

Mixing rate and lime addition rate are factors effecting the characteristics and filterability of calcium sulfate sludge. Slow lime addition provided a more effective return sludge than did rapid lime addition. Slow sample mixing produced a more filterable sludge than did rapid mixing for a given lime addition rate.

The degree of sample neutralization appeared to have only a minor effect on the filterability of the sludge, with the filter ability improving as the final pH of the sample decreased.

The sample return sludge dosage appeared to have only a minor effect on the filterability of the resulting sludge with filterability decreasing as return sludge loadings increased. A complete evaluation of the effect of return sludge loading cannot be made, however, until these studies are expanded to include the optimum return sludge loading for the given acid-lime system.

The values of specific resistance obtained were influenced by the resistance of the filter paper. For samples with similar dry solids concentration the effect is approximately the same; however, the amount of filter paper interference decrease with increased sample dry solids concentration.

For varying acid concentrations there was a minor decrease in specific resistance as the acid concentration, and dry solids concentration, of the samples increased. This decrease was thought to be due to decreasing amounts of filter paper interference rather than improved sludge filterability.