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


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. In the present work, we report thefirst systematic study of the shape and rise trajectory of bubbles engulfed in a layer of oil. Results from direct observation of the coated bubbles with a high-speed camera are compared to computer simulations and confirm a pronounced effect of the oil coat on the bubble dynamics. We consistently find that the oil-coated bubbles display a more spherical shape and straighter trajectory, yet slower rise than standard air bubbles of comparable size. These characteristics may provide practical benefits for flotation separations with oil-coated bubbles.

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Aug 2017, accepted on 14 Mar 2018 and first published on 14 Mar 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01603D
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    The Dynamics of Rising Oil-Coated Bubbles: Experiments and Simulations

    S. Wang, Y. Zhang, J. C. Meredith, S. H. Behrens, M. K. Tripathi and K. C. Sahu, Soft Matter, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01603D

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