Electrokinetic Characterization Concentrated Dispersions

Cannon, David W. ; Mann, Russell V.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1990
In a dispersion of particles in liquid a net charge will develop at the particle-liquid interface. This surface charge is usually due to the adsorption of charged material from solution. The existence of this surface charge gives rise to the formation of the electric double layer of counter-ions which surrond the charged particle. The particle surface charge and the electrostatic repulsion which exists between similarly charged particles is the primary stabilization mechanism for lyophobic colloids (1). The separation of charge which occurs at the particle-liquid interface gives rise to several dynamic phenomena associated with colloidal systems or with solid-liquid interfaces in general. These phenomena are known as electrokinetic phenomena and the four classic electrokinetic phenomena are; electrophoresis, electroosmosis, streaming potential, and sedimentation or Dorn potential. The actual driving force for electrokinetic phenomena is not the surface charge per se, but the charge at the interface between the liquid which is hydrodynamically bound to the particle surface and the bulk fluid. This interface is known as the slipping plane or the plane of shear and the potential at this interface is the zeta potential (2). The factors linking the electrokinetic phenomena is that they involve a relative motion between the liquid and the charged particle or solid surface and the driving force is the zeta potential of the solid. In addition to the four classic electrokinetic phenomena there are two additional electrokinetic effects in disperse systems; the electro-acoustic effects. When an alternating electric field is applied to a cooloidal dispersion the particles will move in the field due to their net zeta potential. If there is a density difference between the particles and the fluid this motion will result in the development of an acoustic wave. The effect was discovered at Matec and has been termed the Electrokinetic Sonic Amplitude or ESA (3). ESA is the pressure amplitude generated by the colloid per unit applied electric field strength and has SI units of pascals per volt per meter. When an alternating pressure field (acoustic wave) is applied to a colloidal dispersion the inverse of the ESA effects occurs. A density difference between the disperse phase and the continuous phase leads to a relative motion between the particles and the surrounding liquid. This means that there will be a periodic displacement between the charged particle and the oppositely charged counter-ions in the electric double year. This displacement results in the development of an alternating dipole moment at the frequency of the applied field. This effect is termed the Ultrasonic Vibration Potential or UVP and was first predicted for electrolyte solutions by Debye in 1933 (4). UVP is measured in units of volts per unit velocity amplitude of the applied acoustic field or volts per meter per second. In 1938, Rutgers (5) and Hermans (6) pointed out that the effect would also be present in colloidal dispersions. A detailed theory for UVP effects in colloids, also called CVP, was first presented by Enderby in 1951 (7). Extensive studies of the UVP in electrolytes have been carried out by Yeager et al (8). Recently, O'Brien (9) has developed a general theoretical treatment of electro- acoustic effects in colloids and has derived a reciprocal relation linking ESA and CVP effects. The most commonly studied electrokinetic phenomena is electrophoresis. Electrophoresis is the movement of charges particles in an applied electric field. The velocity of the particle divided by the applied electric field strength is the electrophoretic mobility of the particle. The zeta potential can be calculated from this mobility (2). The magnitude of both the ESA and CVP effects are directly proportional to the electrophoretic mobility of the particles. The mobility determined by the two electro-acoustic effects is the dynamic or AC mobility of the particles.
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