Monitoring of cantamination of coal processing plants and environmental waters using bubble velocity measurements - adventages and limitations
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Jerzy Haber Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences
AGH University of Science and Technology
Publication date: 2014-01-01
Corresponding author
Jan Zawala   

Jerzy Haber Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Niezapominajek 8, 30-239 Krakow, Poland
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2014;50(1):143-157
The paper presents fundamentals of a simple physicochemical method (SPMD) and analysis of results obtained when the method was applied for detection of organic contaminations (surface-active substances SAS) in samples of environmental and industrial waters. The method is based on measurements of variations of air bubble local velocities, which can be significantly changed in presence of surface-active contaminants. Lowering of the bubble velocity is a consequence of a motion induced dynamic adsorption layer (DAL) formed over surface of the rising bubble. The DAL formation retards the surface fluidity and the bubble rising velocity can be lowered by over 50% when the bubble surface is completely immobilized. We showed that the SPMD is a very sensitive tool (detection limit even below 1 ppm) for detection of various kinds of surface-active substances (ionic, non-ionic) in water samples. On the basis of results obtained using precise laboratory set-up, an accuracy of the SPMD is discussed. Moreover, effect of inert electrolyte addition on the bubble velocity lowering and value of detection limit of the SPMD is discussed. Simple approach, enabling quantitative analysis of the surface-active contaminants in samples collected, based on “equivalent concentrations” determination, is proposed. Results obtained for industrial (Jankowice and Knurow coal processing plants, Jaslo Refinery channel) and environmental waters (Wisloka and Ropa river) are used for detailed analysis and critical discussion of advantages and limitations of the SPMD.
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