Alternative Approach to Conventional River Water Treatment Using Natural Coagulant

  • Authors

    • Komathy Selvaraj
    • Lariyah Mohd Sidek
    • Megat Johari Megat Mohd Noor
    • Pramila Tamunaidu
    • Masafumi Goto
  • Coagulation, Diatomite, River Water, Turbidity, Water Treatment.
  • Extensive studies have been conducted to discover natural, efficient and cost-saving coagulants for water treatment. Meanwhile, chemical coagulants are being used conventionally in drinking water treatment. This study investigates the efficacy of diatomite as a natural coagulant in river water treatment. First, synthetic turbid water was used to validate the coagulant efficiency. Then, coagulation and flocculation behaviors were studied by using the river water samples from Langat River and Semenyih River. Turbidity removal efficiency of synthetic turbid water revealed that a low dosage of 3.5 mg/L could reach turbidity reduction of 83.46%. The turbidity reduction for Semenyih River water with initial turbidity of 31.8 NTU was achieved at 91.7% with 18 mg/L dosage at pH of 7.4 whereby, for Langat River water with an initial turbidity of 43.3 NTU, the turbidity reduction was achieved at 94.5% with a dosage of 26 mg/L at pH of 8.0. These results showed that water turbidity removal was influenced by both high and low natural organic material. This is because the best dosage of coagulant is indirectly proportional to the molar mass of natural organic material. In conclusion, diatomite is a promising material to be used as a natural coagulant in water treatment applications.  

  • References

    1. [1] Guppy L & Anderson K (2017), “Water crisis report,†United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), Hamilton, Canada. 2017.

      [2] Al-Ani IAR, Sidek LM, Desa MMN, Ahmad Basri NE (2012), Knowledge-based expert system for stormwater management in Malaysia. J Environ Sci Technol, Vol. 5, No. 5, 381-388.

      [3] Chow MF, Abu Bakar MF, Sidek LM, Basri H (2017), Effects of substrate types on runoff retention performance within the extensive green roofs. J Eng Appl Sci, Vol. 12, No. 21, 5379-5383.

      [4] Kok KH, Sidek LM, Abidin MR, Basri H, Muda ZC, Beddu S (2013), Evaluation of green roof as green technology for urban stormwater quantity and quality controls. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Vol. 16, No. 1, Article Number 012045.

      [5] Ayub KR, Sidek LM, Ainan A, Zakaria NA, Ghani AA, Rozi A (2005), Storm water treatment using bio-ecological drainage system. Int J River Basin Manage, Vol. 3, No. 3, 215-221.

      [6] Jajarmizadeh M, Sidek LM, Mirzai M, Alaghmand S, Harun S, Majid MR (2016), Prediction of Surface Flow by Forcing of Climate Forecast System Reanalysis Data. Water Resource Management, Vol. 30, No. 8, 2627-2640.

      [7] Norazli O, Nor EA, Muhd NM, Lariyah MS, Nor AO (2009), Potential of electronic plastic waste as a source of raw material and energy recovery. Sains Malaysiana, Vol. 38, No. 5, 707-715.

      [8] Lariyah MS, Mohiyaden HA, Hayder G, Hayder G, Hussein A, Basri H, Sabri AF & Noh MN (2016), Application of Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) and Integrated Fixed Activated Sludge (IFAS) for Biological River Water Purification System: A Short Review, IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science.

      [9] Fai CM, Bakar MFBA, Roslan MAAB, Fadzailah FAB, Idrus MFZB, Ismail NFB (2015), Hydrological performance of native plant species within extensive green roof system in Malaysia. ARPN J Eng Appl Sci, Vol. 10, No. 15, 6419-6423.

      [10] Azzouz A & Ballesteros E (2013), Influence of seasonal climate differences on the pharmaceutical, hormone and personal care product removal efficiency of a drinking water treatment plant. Chemosphere, Vol. 93, 2046–2054.

      [11] Zhao S, Huang G, Fu H & Wang Y (2014), Enhanced Coagulation/Flocculation by Combining Diatomite with Synthetic Polymers for Oily Wastewater Treatment. Separation Science and Technology, Vol. 49, No. 7, 999-1007.

      [12] Baghvand A, Zand AD, Mehrdadi N & Karbassi A (2010), Optimizing Coagulation Process for Low to High Turbidity Waters Using Aluminum and Iron Salts. American Journal of Environmental Sciences, Vol. 6, No. 5, 442-448.

      [13] Fatah HM (2015), Pleistocene Stephanodiscaceae Diatoms from Deposits in El Fayoum Depression, Egypt. Vegetos-An International Journal of Plant Research, Vol. 28, No. 2, 15-24.

      [14] Ibrahim S & Selim A (2011), Evaluation of Egyptian diatomite for filter aid applications. Physicochemical Problems of Mineral Processing, 47, 113-122.

      [15] Zhao S, Huang G, Fu H & Wang Y (2014), Enhanced coagulation/flocculation by combining diatomite with synthetic polymers for oily wastewater treatment. Separation Science and Technology, 49, 999-1007.

      [16] Bakr HEGMM (2010), Diatomite: Its characterization, modifications, and applications. Asian Journal of Materials Science, 3, 121-136.

      [17] IWA, "Coagulation and Flocculation in Water and Wastewater Treatmentâ€, IWA Publishing, (2018), available online:, last visit: 01.07.2018.

      [18] Meesuk L, Benjamas A & Utha-aroon C (2008), The Use of Diatomite to Remove Color and Turbidity in Sugar Industry. Kasetsart J. (Nat. Sci.), 42, 107-116.

      [19] Lambrou T, Anastasiou C & Panayiotou C (2009), A Nephelometric Turbidity System for Monitoring Residential Drinking Water Quality. Sensor Applications, Experimentation, and Logistics, 43-55.

      [20] Engineering Services Division, "Drinking Water Quality Surveillance Programme", Ministry of Health, (2010), available online:, last visit: 02.07.2018.

      [21] Raj KS, Noor MJMM, Goto M, Tamunaidu P, “Characterisation and Application of Diatomite in Water Treatmentâ€, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on the Future of ASEAN (ICoFA) 2017, Vol.2, (2018), pp:533-539,

      [22] Mohammad TA, Mohamed EH, Noor MJMM & Ghazali AH (2013), Coagulation activity of spray dried salt extracted Moringa oleifera. Desalination and Water Treatment, Vol. 51, No. 7-9, 1941-1946

      [23] ASTM D2035-13, Standard Practice for Coagulation-Flocculation Jar Test of Water, ASTM International, (2013)

      [24] Tsai WT, Lai CW & Hsien, KJ (2006), Characterization and adsorption properties of diatomaceous earth modified by hydrofluoric acid etching. Journal of Colloid Interface Science, Vol. 297, No. 2, 749-54

      [25] Okuda T, Baes AU, Nishijima W, & Okada M (2001), Coagulation Mechanism of Salt Solution-Extracted Active Component in Moringa oleifera Seeds. Water Research, Vol. 35, No. 3, 830-834

      [26] Matilainen A, Vepsäläinen, M & Sillanpää M (2010), Natural organic matter removal by coagulation during drinking water treatment: A review. Advances in Colloid and Interface Science, Vol. 159, No. 2, 189-197

  • Downloads

  • How to Cite

    Selvaraj, K., Sidek, L. M., Mohd Noor, M. J. M., Tamunaidu, P., & Goto, M. (2018). Alternative Approach to Conventional River Water Treatment Using Natural Coagulant. International Journal of Engineering & Technology, 7(4.35), 739-742.