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Surface chemistry studies of froth dynamics and structures
The goal of the project is to carry our research into froth dynamic and structures, which could lead to improvement in recovery, selectivity and efficiency in the froth flotation process which is one of the key separation processes in the treatment of many different types of materials. In the mineral industry alone, seven million tons of copper are produce annually in the western world by the flotation process and also huge quantities of zinc, lead, gold and many other non metallic minerals are produced.
We will study the influence of frother chemistry, structure and concentration in relationship to the characteristics of the mineral particle (i.e. size, shape, heterogeneity, hydrophobicity) and the aqueous environment (circuit water). In addition, we plan to study the capture and attachment of particles to the bubble surfaces and also the transportation of particles to and from the froth (entrainment).
We also plan to use a range of cutting-edge experimental techniques such as the Froth Scan column, which is a new analytical method for analysing foams. This will enable us to determine the bubble size, stability index, density, foam expansion, coefficient, head retention value, coalescence, distribution: dynamic surface tension measurements, (to separate the time scales for interfacial adsorption of frother molecules, collector molecules and particles). We will also study the influence of these components on rheology, interfacial elasticity and drainage of thin frother films. Both traditional fatty acid and amine frothers will be studied as well as novel synthetic types of frother systems (polyglycol type systems).
20 weeks/20 points: Start: As soon as possible. The successful candidate should be studying chemistry/chemical engineering or similar at the university level.
Professor Bob Pugh, YKI Tel: 08-5010 6076 email@example.com
YKI, Institute for Surface Chemistry (official name: YKI, Ytkemiska Institutet AB) is an internationally leading industrial research institute with deep knowledge in applied surface and colloid chemistry. YKI serves many industrial branches including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food, industrial chemicals, household products, engineering, pulp and paper, coatings, ceramics, concrete, adhesives, paint, ink and printing. The 85 member companies in YKI include world leaders in these branches. 50% of our industrial partners are based outside Sweden. YKI has 20 PhD students and is each year host to ca. ten diploma workers. YKI is located in a research-intensive area on the campus of the technical university (KTH) in Stockholm, close to several other research institutes, Stockholm University and the medical university Karolinska Institutet.
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