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What are flocculants and why are they important?

Flocculants are synthetic polymers characterized by their molecular weight. They typically work in tandem with coagulants in order to extract insoluble particles from wastewater. They cause the suspended particles to become attracted to one another ultimately agglomerating into a "floc". In order for flocculants to work effectively it is necessary to create a process that enables the floc to stay afloat so they can be easily discharged via blowdown or by filtration. If this is done properly the floc will eventually settle creating a layer of sludge.