Assessment of capillary suction time (CST) test methodologies.

Research paper by O O Sawalha, M M Scholz

Indexed on: 18 Mar '08Published on: 18 Mar '08Published in: Environmental technology


The capillary suction time (CST) test is a commonly used method to measure the filterability and the easiness of removing moisture from slurry and sludge in numerous environmental and industrial applications. This study assessed several novel alterations of both the test methodology and the current standard capillary suction time (CST) apparatus. Twelve different papers including the standard Whatman No. 17 chromatographic paper were tested. The tests were run using four different types of sludge including a synthetic sludge, which was specifically developed for benchmarking purposes. The standard apparatus was altered by the introduction of a novel rectangular funnel instead of a standard circular one. A stirrer was also introduced to solve the problem of test inconsistency (e.g. high CST variability) particularly for heavy types of sludge. Results showed that several alternative papers, which are cheaper than the standard paper, can be used to estimate CST values accurately, and that the test repeatability can be improved in many cases and for different types of sludge. The introduction of the rectangular funnel demonstrated an obvious enhancement of test repeatability. The use of a stirrer to avoid sedimentation of heavy sludge did not have statistically significant impact on the CST values or the corresponding data variability. The application of synthetic sludge can support the testing of experimental methodologies and should be used for subsequent benchmarking purposes.