There is anecdotal evidence for the significant effects of salt ions on the flotation separation of minerals using process water of high salt content. Examples include flotation of soluble salt minerals such as potash, trona and borax in brine solutions using alkylammonium and alkylsulfate collectors such as dodecylamine hydrochloride and sodium dodecylsulfate. Although some of the effects are expected, some do not seem to be encompassed by classical theories of colloid science. Several experimental and modeling techniques for determining solution viscosity, surface tension, bubble-particle attachment time, contact angle, and molecular dynamics simulation have been used to provide further information on air-solution and solid-solution interfacial phenomena, especially with respect to the interfacial water structure due to the presence of dissolved ions. In addition atomic force microscopy, and sum frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy have been used to provide further information on surface states. These studies indicate that the ion specificity effect is the most significant factor influencing flotation in brine solutions. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.