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Role of Bubble–Drop Interactions and Salt Addition in Flotation Performance

Abstract : Gas flotation is an efficient technique used in the petroleum industry to remove oil contamination from produced water. This method is based on attaching air bubbles to oil droplets to make oil droplets rise faster. We investigated the role of water salinity in the efficiency of the process, using a model flotation column. We show that flotation efficiency increases with water salinity, highlighting the importance of the electrostatic repulsion between oil drops and air bubbles. We also studied the attachment between drops and bubbles, monitoring the temporal evolution of the thin films between them. Stable attachment requires that the water films formed between oil drops and air bubbles break and the oil spreads at the bubble surface. Increasing the salinity of the solution decreases the repulsion between the oil drops and the air bubbles, which in turn decreases the water film stability. The films rupture more readily, improving the drop–bubble attachment and thus the flotation efficiency. The differences in water salinity can therefore lead to important changes in the flotation efficiency.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 10:18:19 AM
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H. Chakibi, I. Henaut, A. Salonen, D. Langevin, J.-F. Argillier. Role of Bubble–Drop Interactions and Salt Addition in Flotation Performance. Energy & Fuels, American Chemical Society, 2018, 32 (3), pp.4049-4056. ⟨10.1021/acs.energyfuels.7b04053⟩. ⟨hal-01990449⟩



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