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Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) is a water treatment process used to remove suspended solids, oils, greases, and other contaminants from wastewater by introducing fine air bubbles into the water. These bubbles attach to the contaminants, causing them to float to the surface for removal. DAF systems are commonly used in municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants, as well as in various other applications where the removal of suspended solids is necessary.

Working Principle

  1. Dissolution of Air: Air is dissolved under pressure into the wastewater stream.

  2. Release of Air: The pressurized water containing dissolved air is then released into a flotation tank or chamber, where the pressure is rapidly reduced.

  3. Formation of Micro Bubbles: As the pressure decreases, the dissolved air forms small bubbles throughout the water.

  4. Attachment to Contaminants: The micro bubbles attach to suspended solids, oils, greases, and other contaminants in the water.

  5. Flotation: The buoyant force of the bubbles causes the attached contaminants to rise to the surface of the tank, forming a layer of sludge or foam.

  6. Skimming: The sludge or foam layer is skimmed off the surface of the tank and collected for further treatment or disposal.

Key Components

  1. Flotation Tank: The chamber where the flotation process occurs, typically equipped with mechanisms for introducing air and mixing the water.

  2. Air Dissolution System: Equipment for dissolving air into the water under pressure, such as air saturators or pumps.

  3. Micro Bubble Generator: The device responsible for generating fine air bubbles in the water, often achieved through aeration or mechanical means.

  4. Skimming System: Mechanisms for removing the floated sludge or foam from the surface of the tank, including skimmers, scrapers, or rotating drums.

  5. Effluent Outlet: The outlet for treated water, typically located near the bottom of the flotation tank.


  1. Municipal Wastewater Treatment: Removing suspended solids, oils, and greases from sewage and wastewater before discharge into water bodies or further treatment.

  2. Industrial Wastewater Treatment: Treating wastewater from various industries, including food processing, pulp and paper, chemical manufacturing, and mining.

  3. Water Recycling: Purifying water for reuse in industrial processes, cooling towers, or irrigation.

  4. Oil and Gas Industry: Treating produced water from oil and gas operations to remove contaminants before disposal or reuse.


  1. Efficient Removal of Contaminants: Effective at removing suspended solids, oils, greases, and other contaminants from wastewater.

  2. Compact Design: DAF systems can be relatively compact compared to other water treatment methods, making them suitable for retrofitting into existing facilities.

  3. Versatility: Can be used for a wide range of wastewater treatment applications, including municipal and industrial settings.

  4. Reduced Chemical Usage: DAF systems often require fewer chemicals compared to other treatment processes, reducing operating costs and environmental impact.


  1. High Capital and Operating Costs: DAF systems can be expensive to install and maintain, especially for larger treatment capacities.

  2. Sensitive to Temperature and pH: Performance may be affected by variations in temperature and pH levels, requiring careful monitoring and control.

  3. Sludge Handling: Disposal or treatment of the floated sludge can be challenging and may require additional processing.

  4. Potential for Foam Formation: In some cases, excessive foam formation may occur, requiring additional control measures.