Thin liquid film drainage mechanism between air bubbles and low-rank coal particles in the presence of surfactant
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Flotation strongly depends on bubble–particle attachment interactions. However, modelling of bubble–particle attachment interactions is challenging particularly due to the difficulties in quantifying the hydrophobic interactions between an air bubble and a non-spherical particle using a well-advanced technique such as atomic force microscopy; the reason is that these measurements are not reproducible when particles are non-spherical. This paper proposes a methodology to determine the hydrophobic interaction constants between air bubbles and coal particles in the presence of a surfactant. The bubble–particle hydrophobic constants were determined from first principles using the Navier-Stokes equation and the Glembotsky experimental technique. It was found that the higher the surfactant concentration, the higher the hydrophobic constants. The results showed that the calculated critical film rupture thickness is inversely related to the induction time measurements, and the maximum critical film rupture thickness matched the minimum induction time. The decrease in the electrostatic double layer repulsive energies resulted in the decrease in the induction times.
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