Controlled Flotation Processes: Prediction And Manipulation Of Bubble-Particle Capture

Ralston, J.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1999
The processes by which particles and bubbles interact capture many of the central concepts of colloid science and hydrodynamics. This area of research embraces hydrodynamics, interfacial(including capillary) forces, particle and bubble behaviour and solution chemistry. In this review, we discuss collision, attachment and stability efficiencies. We deal with the identification of a flotation ?domain?, the deformation of a bubble surface upon interaction with a solid surface, the kinetics of three phase contact line expansion and the determination of attachment efficiencies through to the direct measurement of bubble-particle interaction forces. We have recently carried out a test of collision theory where the latter embraces both inertial and centrifugal forces. The real challenge is now to quantitatively describe the behaviour of real systems and to incorporate a reliable description of the behaviour of particles in flotation froths. The approach described is very robust when applied to flotation, both from qualitative and quantitative points of view, providing an intellectual foundation for understanding this complex process in separation science and technology.
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