Effect of humic substances and particles on bubble coalescence and foam stability in realation to dissolved air flotation processes
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University College London
Publication date: 2004-01-01
Corresponding author
Stefaan J. R. Simons   

Colloid and Surface Engineering Group, Department of Chemical Engineering, University College London, Torrington Place, London WC1E 7JE, UK
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2004;38(1):37-52
In this paper the effect of humic substances (natural surfactants), electrolytes and solid particles on bubble coalescence, and as a consequence on froth stability, have been investigated. We formed two bubbles of equal size and forced them to collide using a novel experimental apparatus. The interactions were recorded by a high-speed camera, the images of which helped to determine the coalescence frequency and the coalescence time, as well as the mechanisms of the interactions. Two types of humic substances were used, along with three different electrolytes. Humic substances appeared to have a considerable effect on bubble coalescence, while the effect of electrolytes was minimal. Moderate and high hydrophobic glass spheres were used between two bubbles. Very hydrophobic spheres promoted fast bubble coalescence, while moderate hydrophobic spheres had no effect. We present data of coalescence frequency and time, as well as images of the coalescence events. The coalescence frequency was used to validate a parameter, Pf, known as the film failure frequency, used in a simulation model to predict foam height in a gas-sparged vessel. Predictions determined using Pf were then validated by experimentation.
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