A study on the properties of foams produced with cellulose-based molecules with an outlook on flotation

Ted Nuorivaara, Rodrigo Serna Guerrero

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


As the demand of raw materials increases in a global scale due to demographic and economical changes, it is necessary to find technological solutions that improve current production processes in an efficient and sustainable manner. The main objective of this preliminary study is to evaluate the properties of foam produced with a cellulose-based molecule as an alterative to commercial frothing agents in flotation operations. There are two potential advantages identified with the use of cellulose-based additives for the proposed application: i) these chemicals can be produced from sustainable sources (i.e., non-edible crops), and ii) cellulose can be functionalized with chemical groups, in order to rationally modify its behaviour. In previous studies dealing with foam stabilization, it has been proposed that some functionalized cellulose species present a self-assembly mechanism at gas-liquid interfaces. Unlike typical surfactant-based frothers, cellulose molecules form networks around the bubbles that act as protective layers to the mechanical stress and to the occurrence of ionic species. This work studied the properties of foams produced in the presence of a partially hydroxylated cellulose molecule (i.e., hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose; HPMC) under various concentrations in a laboratory-scale column. A comparison with a commercial surfactant frother (i.e., Nasfroth 240) is presented, and a rationalization of the behaviour of HPMC in terms of foam properties (i.e., surface tension, bubble size, foam depth) is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationXXVIII International Mineral Processing Congress Conference Proceedings
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-926872-29-2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Mineral Processing Congress - Quebec City Convention Center, Quebec City, Canada
Duration: 11 Sep 201615 Sep 2016
Conference number: 27


ConferenceInternational Mineral Processing Congress
Abbreviated titleIMPC
CityQuebec City
Internet address


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