Electrostatic Forces in Control of the Foamability of Nonionic Surfactant

Karakashev S., Grozev N. A., Hristova ., Mircheva K., Özdemir O.

COATINGS, vol.13, no.37, pp.1-9, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 37
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Journal Name: COATINGS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Communication Abstracts, INSPEC, Metadex, Directory of Open Access Journals, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-9
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Can the DLVO theory predict the foamability of flotation frothers as MIBC (methyl isobutyl carbinol)? The flotation froth is a multi-bubble system, in which the bubbles collide, thus either coalescing or rebounding. This scenario is driven by the hydrodynamic push force, pressing the bubbles towards each other, the electrostatic and van der Waals forces between the bubbles, and the occurrence of the precipitation of the dissolved air between the bubbles. We studied the foamability of 20 ppm MIBC at constant ionic strength I = 7.5 × 10−4 mol/L at different pH values in the absence and presence of modified silica particles, which were positively charged, thus covering the negatively charged bubbles. Hence, we observed an increase in the foamability with the increase in the pH value until pH = 8.3, beyond which it decreased. The electrostatic repulsion between the bubbles increased with the increase in the pH value, which caused the electrostatic stabilization of the froth and subsequently an increase in the foamability. The presence of the particles covering the bubbles boosted the foamability also due to the steric repulsion between the bubbles. The decrease in the foamability at pH > 8.3 can be explained by the fact that, under such conditions, the solubility of carbon dioxide vanished, thus making the aqueous solution supersaturated with carbon dioxide. This caused the precipitation of the latter and the emergence of microbubbles, which usually make the bubbles coalesce. Of course, our explanation remains a hypothesis.