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Adsorption behavior of surfactants on lignite particles with different densities in aqueous medium

Jie Wang 1,  
Yaqun He 1  ,  
Baofeng Wen 1,  
Weining Xie 1,  
China University of Mining and Technology
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2017;53(2):996–1008
Publish date: 2014-05-05
Lignite is well known for its strong hydrophilicity and hard-to-float properties. However, the surface free energy of the solid is made up of two components, that is the Lifshitz-van der Waals and acid-base interaction energy. Differences in these two components between the low ash (lower density) and high ash fraction (higher density) provide a benefit for improving the separation efficiency through introducing surfactants in flotation. In this paper, thermodynamic characterization of three density lignite fractions was measured by a Washburn dynamic method. Combining the Washburn equation and Van Oss-Chaudhury-Good theory, the surface free energy components of three samples were calculated according to the wetting process by n-hexane, diiodomethane, deionized water and ethylene glycol. The Lifshitz-van der Waals part of surface free energy reduced with the coal density increase, especially between fractions of -1.45 g/cm3 and 1.45-1.80 g/cm3, while the Lewis base part increased slightly. The interfacial interaction free energies between the surfactant and lignite in aqueous medium indicated that the low hydrophilic index benefited for the stronger adsorption intensity. Increase of the surfactant Lifshitz-van der Waals component increases the adsorptive intensity on lower density lignite and the repulsive intensity on higher density lignite, which is beneficial for separation.
Yaqun He   
China University of Mining and Technology, Jiangsu Province Xuzhou City Daxue Road NO.1, 221116 Xuzhou, China
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