The Dynamics of Rising Oil-Coated Bubbles: Experiments and Simulations

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March, 2018
Songcheng Wang

Air bubbles rising through an aqueous medium have been studied extensively and are routinely used for the separation of particulates via froth flotation, a key step in many industrial processes. Oil-coated bubbles can be more effective for separating hydrophilic particles with low affinity for the air-water interface, but the rise dynamics of oil-coated bubbles has not yet been explored. We consistently find that the oil-coated bubbles display a more spherical shape and straighter trajectory, yet slower rise than uncoated bubbles of comparable size. These characteristics may provide practical benefits for flotation separations with oil-coated bubbles.