Modified tannins and their application in wastewater treatment

Water Sci Technol. 2018 Oct;78(5-6):1115-1128. doi: 10.2166/wst.2018.336.


The bio-flocculants used in this study were synthesised by the Mannich reaction, which includes three reagents: a substrate (tannin extracts of Acacia, Quebracho, and Castanea), formaldehyde, and an amine derivative (ethanolamine, diethanolamine, ammonium chloride). Nine natural flocculants were prepared by combining extracts and amines; these products were evaluated in three different wastewater samples in two experimental phases. In phase I, five physicochemical parameters were analysed. From the data obtained, a multivariate, completely randomised design (CRD-Manava) was used, with a factorial arrangement and mean plots. In phase II, the three bio-flocculants with the most statistically significant responses and their mixtures were examined, evaluating 14 biological and physicochemical parameters. Statistical analysis was guided in this phase by CRD blocks, finding a significant removal in the physicochemical parameters analysed in the different types of wastewater and obtaining removal rates between 50 and 90%, depending on the parameter. At the end of both phases, the bio-flocculants acacia-ammonium chloride and quebracho-diethanolamine were the most efficient in the removal of turbidity (34-99%), true colour (93-100%) and total solids (12-99%). In addition, the natural flocculants showed low mutagenicity index (MI: 0.33-0.93) compared to aluminium sulphate (MI: 4.87-8.81).

MeSH terms

  • Acacia / chemistry*
  • Alum Compounds
  • Flocculation
  • Tannins / chemistry*
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid
  • Waste Water / chemistry*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Water Purification / methods*


  • Alum Compounds
  • Tannins
  • Waste Water
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • aluminum sulfate