Chitosan for Direct Bioflocculation Processes

  • Eric LichtfouseEmail author
  • Nadia Morin-CriniEmail author
  • Marc Fourmentin
  • Hassiba Zemmouri
  • Inara Oliveira Carmo do Nascimento
  • Luciano Matos Queiroz
  • Mohd Yuhyi Mohd Tadza
  • Lorenzo A. Picos-Corrales
  • Haiyan Pei
  • Lee D. Wilson
  • Grégorio CriniEmail author
Part of the Sustainable Agriculture Reviews book series (SARV, volume 36)


Coagulation-flocculation is a major process allowing to remove suspended particles from municipal and industrial wastewater. This process commonly involves metal salts as coagulants and synthetic organic polymers as flocculants. Although those chemicals are cheap, efficient, available and easy to use, they have drawbacks such water pollution by metals, and production of large amounts of toxic sludges. Therefore, safer biocoagulants and bioflocculants of biological origin are currently developed. For instance, the direct flocculation process involves water-soluble, ionic organic polymers, and thus do not need the addition of metal coagulants. In particular, chitosan and byproducts have been recently designed as bioflocculants to remove particulate matter and dissolved pollutants. Chitosan is a partially deacetylated polysaccharide obtained from chitin, a biopolymer extracted from shellfish sources. Chitosan exhibits various physicochemical and functional properties of interest for many environmental applications.

Key achievements of chitosan applications include the removal of more than 90% of solids and 95% of residual oil from palm oil mill effluents. Chitosan highly reduces the turbidity of agricultural wastewater and seawater. Comparison of raw chitosan with modified chitosan, such as 3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl trimethylammonium chloride grafted onto carboxymethyl-chitosan, to treat a solution of high turbidity (400 mg/L kaolinite) and phosphate (25 mg/L), shows that the modified chitosan decreases the turbidity by 99% and the phosphate content by 97% at all pH, whereas those abatements are below 80% for the raw chitosan. Chitosan also removes toxic Microcystis aeruginosa cyanobacterial cells by 99% and microcystins by 50%. This chapter discusses advantages and drawbacks of using chitosan for direct flocculation for water and wastewater treatment, sludge dewatering, and post-treatment of sanitary landfill leachates.


Chitosan Bioflocculant Direct bioflocculation Wastewater treatment Sludge dewatering 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Lichtfouse
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nadia Morin-Crini
    • 2
    Email author
  • Marc Fourmentin
    • 3
  • Hassiba Zemmouri
    • 4
  • Inara Oliveira Carmo do Nascimento
    • 5
  • Luciano Matos Queiroz
    • 5
  • Mohd Yuhyi Mohd Tadza
    • 6
  • Lorenzo A. Picos-Corrales
    • 7
  • Haiyan Pei
    • 8
  • Lee D. Wilson
    • 9
  • Grégorio Crini
    • 10
    Email author
  1. 1.Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, IRD, INRA, Coll France, CEREGEAix-en-ProvenceFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire Chrono-environnement, UMR 6249, UFR Sciences et TechniquesUniversité Bourgogne Franche-ComtéBesançonFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Physico-Chimie de l’Atmosphère (LPCA, EA 4493), ULCOUniversité du Littoral Côte d’OpaleDunkerqueFrance
  4. 4.Laboratoire des Sciences et du Génie des Procédés Industriels, Faculté de Génie Mécanique et Génie des ProcédésUniversité des Sciences et de la Technologie Houari BoumedieneAlgerAlgeria
  5. 5.Department of Environmental EngineeringFederal University of Bahia, Polytechnic SchoolSalvadorBrazil
  6. 6.Faculty of Civil Engineering & Earth ResourcesUniversiti Malaysia PahangGambang, KuantanMalaysia
  7. 7.Facultad de Ciencias Químico BiológicasUniversidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, Blvd. de las Américas y Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, Ciudad UniversitariaCuliacánMexico
  8. 8.School of Environmental Science and TechnologyShandong UniversityJinanChina
  9. 9.Department of ChemistryUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  10. 10.Chrono-Environnement, UMR 6249Université Bourgogne Franche-ComtéBesançonFrance

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