Comparative dewatering performance of slurries conditioned with synthetic polymers vs. eco-friendly polymers

M. M. Khachan, R. A. Bader, S. K. Bhatia, B. W. Maurer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


Geotextile tubes have been used to dewater a variety of materials, including dredged sediments, mine tailings and mineral fines, municipal sewage sludge, and a variety of agricultural, manufacturing, and industrial wastes. Synthetic polymers, typically polyacrylamide-based, are commonly used in geotextile tube dewatering applications as flocculants to enhance the rate of dewatering and the retention of fines. Depending on the specific nature of the flocculant, flocculation of fine particles occurs by charge neutralization, bridging, or a combination of both. Polyacrylamide-based polymers, however, may have a negative impact on the environment due to toxicity and non-biodegradability. This possible negative impact necessitates the assessment of eco-friendly polymers for flocculation. Studies have identified a number of natural flocculants, particularly polysaccharides and polysaccharide derivatives, as effective flocculants in other engineering applications. These natural flocculants are potential low-cost biodegradable alternatives to non-renewable, non-biodegradable synthetic polymers. In this study, pressure filtration tests (PFT) were used to investigate and compare the dewatering performance of a natural polysaccharide-based flocculant to that of a synthetic polyacrylamide-based polymer when applied to a fine grained, non-plastic sediment. PFT results indicate that the natural polymer demonstrates good potential for use as a flocculant in geotextile tube dewatering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeo-Frontiers 2011
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances in Geotechnical Engineering - Proceedings of the Geo-Frontiers 2011 Conference
Number of pages9
Edition211 GSP
StatePublished - 2011
EventGeo-Frontiers 2011: Advances in Geotechnical Engineering - Dallas, TX, United States
Duration: Mar 13 2011Mar 16 2011

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
Number211 GSP
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


OtherGeo-Frontiers 2011: Advances in Geotechnical Engineering
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDallas, TX


  • Dewatering
  • Geosynthetics
  • Polymer
  • Slurries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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