Metahydrophobicity and orthohydrophilicity tested in flotation of NaCl, KCl, KPF6 in their saturated aqueous solutions
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Wroclaw University of Technology
Jan Drzymala   

Wroclaw University of Technology
Publication date: 2019-07-31
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2019;55(5):1141–1147
Flotation tests of different size fractions of NaCl, KCl and KPF6 in their saturated aqueous solutions were performed in a 36 cm in height monobubble Hallimond tube. Also contact angle tests by means of sessile drops of saturated salt solution put on pressed discs of salts were carried out. The obtained sessile drop contact angles were equal to zero, pointing to a complete hydrophilicity (orthophilicity) of the investigated salts. In the case of NaCl and KCl, their orthohydrophilicity was confirmed by flotation tests and flotometric considerations because the entrainment factors, which take into account the maximum size of entrained particles and density of the salt as well as it solution, were similar to those of quartz and magnetite and equal to 0.11 mm. The entrainment factor for KPF6 was equal to 0.18 and was greater than that of NaCl and KCl indicating certain natural flotation of this salt caused by some flotational hydrophobicity called in this paper metahydrophobicity. The metahydrophobicity of KPF6 was confirmed by flotation results. In the case of KPF6 the maximum yields of the same size particles were the highest, even though the density of this salt was greater than that of NaCl and KCl. Also, the first order kinetic constants were always the greatest for KPF6. Further flotometeric calculation based on the balance of forces involved in flotation indicated that the estimated contact angle of KPF6 was about 8° assuming static flotation, and 7° for dynamic flotation, while for NaCl and KCl was below 5º. It means that during flotation test orthohydrophilic NaCl and KCl are only entrained while for metahydrophobic KPF6 there is mostly entrainment and some flotation.