Adsorption and Wetting Characteristics of Pure Non-metallic Minerals in Contact with Cationic Surfactants

  • John Hanna


The adsorption, zeta potential and wetting characteristics of pure calcium carbonate (synthetic), calcite, quartz and kaolinite minerals in contact with cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and dodecylammonium chloride (DDAC) were studied at constant temperature, pH and ionic strength. Further studies were made on the effects of pH and inorganic electrolytes on the adsorption of CTAB on the synthetic calcium carbonate.

Adsorption of the weakly ionizable surfactant DDAC showed multilayer formation, but it was restricted to a monomolecular layer for systems with the strongly ionizable CTAB surfactant. In case of monolayer adsorption, the CTAB molecules were oriented with their polar head groups directed towards the solid surface and the hydrocarbon chains exposed to the aqueous phase. A direct correlation of the adsorption, zeta potential, contact angle and flotation was established and an adsorption mechanism was proposed. It involves mainly electrostatic attraction between the cationic head groups and the oppositely charged sites on the mineral and possibly some ion exchange, chemical and hydrophobic interactions, depending on the activity of the surface groups.


Contact Angle Polar Head Group Precipitate Calcium Carbonate CTAB Concentration High Surfactant Concentration 
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Copyright information

© Elsevier Science Publishing Co., Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Hanna
    • 1
  1. 1.Mineral Resources InstituteThe University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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