Effect of external electric field on nanobubbles at the surface of hydrophobic particles during air flotation
In this paper, the effect of external electric field on nanobubbles adsorbed on the surface of hydrophobic particles during air flotation was studied by molecular dynamics simulations. The gas density distribution, diffusion coefficient, viscosity, and the change of the angle and number distribution of hydrogen bonds in the system with different amounts of gas molecules were calculated and compared with the results without an external electric field. The results show that the external electric field can make the size of the bubbles smaller. The diffusion coefficient of the gas increases and the viscosity of the system decreases when the external electric field is applied, which contribute to the reduction of the size of the nanobubbles. At the same time, comparing with the results under no external electric field, the angle of hydrogen bonding under the external electric field will increase, and the proportion of water molecules containing more hydrogen bonds will reduce, which further explains the reason why the external electric field reduces the viscosity. The conclusions of this paper demonstrate at the micro level that the external electric field can enhance the efficiency of air-floating technology for the separation of hydrophobic particles, which may provide meaningful theoretical guidance for the application and optimization of electric field-enhanced air-floating technology in practice.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2019 International Open Access Week Collection