Coagulation: Polymers for Coagulation, Flocculation and Dewatering

Tramfloc® offers the broadest possible line of polymeric formulations to separate suspended solids and liquids in a wide variety of industries and applications. Tramfloc®  polymers are designed to improve the efficiency of your process water, raw water, waste water, and potable water treatment systems. Our objective is to design a program which will meet your company’s or municipality’s water quality performance goals, regulatory requirements while improving cost performance.


Non ionic, Anionic, Cationic, Zwitterionic


Solution, Emulsion, Super Emulsion , Granular, Bead


No charge; less than 1 and up to 100% theoretical mole.


From 500 in the cationic coagulants (coagulation) up to more than 20 million in cationic flocculant species.


Pail, drum, tote bin, bag, Supersak , bulk


LTL, TL, tank wagon, box car, rail car


Tramfloc® will custom manufacture the exact charge and weight characteristics for special applications. Consult the factory for further details.


Tramfloc® cationic coagulants for coagulation remove the total suspended solids (TSS) and accompanying turbidity so that the raw water will be of suitable quality for process use or for potable treatment. The Tramfloc® products in the 620, 630, 720, and 730 series products are designed to neutralize the surface charges on colloidal solids, thus promoting rapid and effective coagulation. This series of formulations can dramatically reduce metal salt feed rates.


Our coagulants for coagulation are designed to enhance the performance of Tramfloc® flocculants in wastewater clarification. The coagulants for coagulation neutralize the surface charges, thus allowing the flocculant to build larger particle size and promote precipitation.


Tramfloc® polymers are designed to flocculate the suspended solids which are absorbed by the gas bubbles. Our formulations perform effectively in both dissolved and induced air and nitrogen flotation cells.


Tramfloc® flocculants are designed to enhance the sedimentation process. Our formulations can reduce the TSS volume in secondary biological clarifiers. Lime softeners can be effectively treated with very low dosages of special Tramfloc flocculants.


Tramfloc® flocculants applied in industrial, municipal, and mining industry dewatering systems will improve water release which will produce drier cake. When we increase cake solids, we axiomatically reduce sludge volume and you save on disposal costs. Tramfloc® formulations cover the entire spectrum of molecular weights and ionic charges. Our products can help dewater inorganic, biological, and radioactive sludge.


There is another section of our web site which explains in more detail how Tramfloc® cationic formulations “break out.” Fats, oils, and greases (FOG) from process and waste water in a wide variety of industries can be removed by the judicious application of carefully selected Tramfloc® Emulsion Breakers. If your application requires the removal water and rag layers from total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) then please visit our emulsion breaking section for a description Tramfloc® Demulsifiers.


It is incumbent upon every businessperson in the 21st century to recover, reuse and recycle process and waste water while recovering potentially valuable by-products, such as foods, fuels, raw materials, and lubricants. Tramfloc® can assist customers in improving water quality by removing contaminants, regardless of their nature and form.


Here is a list of some of the industrial operations in which our flocculants can be a valuable contributor to plant efficiency.

  • CPI
  • HP
  • Beverage production
  • Food processing
  • Plating and Metal Finishing
  • IC Fabrication
  • Pulp and Paper
  • Mining
  • Bio-Pharmaceutical
  • Gravel and Aggregates
  • Automotive
  • Primary Metals


Consulting services for primary and secondary waste water treatment systems

Evaluations, pilot studies, and analytical services

Short and long term testing applications

Statistical process control

Automated chemical feeding and handling systems

Biomass augmentation, defoamers, and polymers for biological systems


You can expect many of the following benefits from Tramfloc SuperEmulsion Programs.

Elimination or reduction of metal salts
Reduction in sludge volume
Increase in cake solids
Increase in underflow TSS
Freeze-thaw stable for cold climate operation
Low intrinsic viscosity to eliminate heat traced lines and storage tanks
Do not impact pH
Cationic coagulants perform more effectively than alum and associated salts for coagulation
Performs effectively in low or high hardness, alkalinity or turbidity water
Operates well without pH adjustment
Forms denser floc
Produces a more rapidly settling floc particle
Chlorine resistant


A successful Tramfloc® polymer program requires the proper equipment to efficiently make down and feed the polymer. The feed equipment selected for a specific application depends on the polymer type, form, molecular weight, and feed rate of the polymer solution.

Four available polymer types are liquid solution coagulants (for coagulation), liquid solution flocculants, liquid emulsion flocculants, and dry flocculants.

Organic solution coagulants for coagulation are characterized by their lower molecular weights (5-300K) and high cationic charge densities. The cationic charge is used to neutralize the negatively charged suspended solids. The suspended solids will no longer repel each other and can agglomerate and precipitate.

Tramfloc® flocculants are characterized by their higher molecular weights (1M-20M) and various charge densities. They can be either anionic (negatively charged), non ionic (no charge), or cationic (positively charged). Flocculants are used to bridge the neutralized or coagulated particles into larger agglomerates, resulting in more efficient settling. Flocculants are used in solids thickening, sludge dewatering, and as coagulation aids.


Coagulants for coagulation are produced in solution form in concentrations ranging from 5-50%. Molecular weight, viscosity, and solution solubility are all characteristics that determine a product’s concentration.

Neat coagulants for coagulation have viscosity’s ranging from 20 to 5,000 cp at 700 F and have complete freeze-thaw recovery. Tramfloc® products can be stored up to one year in unopened drums and in bulk storage tanks if temperatures are within recommended guidelines. If stored at temperatures beyond the suggested range, performance of the coagulant may be adversely affected. Specific physical characteristics and handling recommendations are discussed in individual product bulletins.


Liquid coagulants (for coagulation) should be fed neat, with dilution water to disperse the polymer into the stream to be treated. Positive displacement gear and diaphragm pumps are adequate for delivering neat polymer. Calibration cylinders can be used for controlling chemical feed systems so that the correct dosage can be monitored regardless of various circumstances and water quality.

A static or in-line mixer is recommended for coagulants for coagulation to thoroughly mix the polymer with the dilution water prior to application. A static mixer should be installed after the dilution water line.

To prevent cross connections, check valves should be installed in the dilution water line as well as the line from the pump to the dilution water tee.


Dilution water of sufficient capacity to deliver a polymer concentration of 1-10% is normal. Water should be free of TSS, be 50-1000 F, and contain low total chlorine levels. Very hard dilution water may cause precipitation in the feed line. Should this happen, feed the material neat or use soft water. Use sufficient water to make down initial dilutions to 5-20% and application dilutions to 0.5%. Dilution water can be metered to each application point with a rota meter.


Liquid solution flocculants are available in concentrations ranging from 1-10%. Molecular weight, solution solubility, and viscosity determine a liquid flocculant’s concentration. In neat form, these flocculants range in viscosity from 5,000 to 70,000 cp at 700 F and have complete freeze-thaw recovery. To ensure optimum feeding performance, neat product should be stored indoors or in storage tanks at temperatures of 70-800 F. If storage temperatures are below 700 F, pumping and handling problems could occur. At temperatures above 800 F, product activity may suffer. Storage tanks located indoors should be vented outside. Shelf life for liquid solution flocculants is generally 3 to 6 months in unopened drums and bulk tanks. Polymer feeders, such as those described elsewhere on the Tramfloc® web site, eliminate the need for in-line dilution water, static mixers, and check valves. Tramfloc Polymer Feed Systems automatically mix dilution water and polymer in a specifically designed ratio to optimize results and minimize polymer consumption.


Emulsion products provide the most concentrated liquid flocculant with polymer concentrations of 25-70%. Liquid emulsion flocculants are available in cationic, non-ionic, and anionic charges. In neat form, liquid emulsion flocculants range from to 200 to 1000 cp at 700 F and have complete freeze-thaw stability. Shelf life for emulsions is normally about one year. To minimize product separation, bulk tanks should be equipped with a recirculation pump. The tank contents should be recirculated only once a day. Drums should be mixed with drum mixers for 30 minutes prior to use. Bulk tanks should also be equipped with an air drier and breather vent to prevent premature activation. Polymer activity deterioration may occur at storage temperatures above 1000 F.


Water is charged with agitation to neat flocculant to activate the material for use. This inversion process is necessary to achieve maximum activity. Following the inversion process, emulsion flocculants should be aged. A plant can mix batches periodically and allow for quiescence.


Make down the primary solution to 0.5-2.0% and further dilute this stock solution to best suit your specific application, often ~0.1%. The aforementioned comments about making down Tramfloc® polymers apply to this category of products.


Dry flocculants are nominally 100% active and are available in all charges. These formulations are normally stable for two years in dry, cool conditions if bags are closed tightly.


It is necessary to uniformly wet each polymer granule to preclude “fish eyes”. Fish eyes are undissolved clumps of polymer particles that are not active. Once present, several hours can be required to solubilize the masses into a homogeneous solution. The Tramfloc® Polymer System is strongly recommended for any dry flocculant application of more than 2 pounds daily.

An adequate dry feed system includes a wetting device, an aging tank, and a metering system with a dispenser. The solution should be mixed and aged about 1 hour, depending on the dry flocculant.


Enough dilution water should be added to make down a 0.1-1.0% primary concentration. Additional dilution water should be added in-line to reduce the solution concentration to 0.01-0.10%.


The following guidelines should be observed in the application of polymer systems.

    1. Consult Tramfloc® for specific polymer feeding recommendations and metallurgy information.
    2. Most polymers can attack mild carbon steel, and some may be corrosive to stainless steel. Plastics such as PVC, PE and PP are normally adequate.
    3. Day tanks – Normally polymer solutions should not be stored for longer than 24 hours. Twelve hours is considered the maximum time for certain polymers. High concentration solutions resist degradation better than lower strengths.
    4. Storage temperatures – High ambient temperatures (in excess of 1000 F) can cause polymer degradation. Freeze protection should be provided for all neat and diluted polymers. Normally, Tramfloc formulations exhibit effective freeze-thaw stability and recovery.
    5. Pump selection – Normally, gear, diaphragm, and progressive cavity pumps perform well in handling neat polymer and its solutions.
    6. Feed system design – Bench tests and in-plant evaluations should be performed before a Tramfloc Polymer system is installed.
    7. Diluting Polymers
Coagulant n/a 1-10%
Liquid Flocculant 5-20% 0.5-5%
Emulsion Flocculant 0.5-2.0% 0.05-0.5%
Dry Flocculant 0.1-0.8% 0.01-3%

For a wonderful website about coagulation and flocculation, please visit IWA Water Wiki They are a wonderful source for coagulation and flocculation. This link is to an article about coagulation and provides an overview of the processes and looks at the latest thinking.

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