The role of carbon chain length in the attachment between microbubbles and aqueous solutions of ionic liquid

E. K. Chew, K. Y. Lee, E. V. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Hypothesis The effects of varying carbon chain lengths (CCLs) and concentrations of aqueous solutions of imidazolium based ionic liquids on bubble particle attachment (BPA) will provide a better understanding in catering for the varying degrees of surface activities in the application of the flotation technology. The general trends of this study should also be applicable to homologous series of other cationic surfactants and ionic liquids. Experiments Zeta potentials of small air bubbles and bunker oil drops dispersed in aqueous solutions of n-methylimidazolium chloride ionic liquids (n = 0, 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 12) of concentrations ranging from 1000 PPM to 8000 PPM, as were interfacial tensions of these solutions with bunker oil (180 cst) and contact angles made by air bubbles at interfaces between these solutions and thin layers of bunker oil on flat solid surfaces were investigated. Finally, interparticle forces analysis using the Derjaguin-Landau, Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory is also included. Findings Analysis using the DLVO theory showed attractive forces between the oil particles and micro-bubbles are significantly more prevalent in short CCLs solutions of imidazolium-based ILs in low concentrations, namely [C0mim][Cl] and [C2mim][Cl] at a maximum zeta potential difference of 75.3 mV. The results from CA measurements follows similarly whereby low concentrations of ILs with short CCLs were in favor for the bubble-particle attachment process with angles ranging between 93.95° for [C0mim][Cl] and 97.28° for [C2mim][Cl]. IFT which is important in reducing coalescence for the preferential BPA process to occur in flotation decreases with an increase of CCL and concentration of IL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)452-459
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2017


  • Attachment process
  • Interaction
  • Ionic liquid
  • Micro bubble
  • Oil

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