Investigation on foaming properties of some organics for oil bubble bitumen flotation

In this study experiments were carried out for oily bubble flotation of bitumen by using the foam injection technique with different organics (hexane, heptane, hexadekane, petroleum, ether, toluene, benzene und kerosene and their binary mixtures) to select the most suitable organics for bubble coating. Silicon oil was found to be a good foaming agent in some cases. Measurements of surface tension and dynamic viscosity were conducted to examine the mechanism of foaming. Bubble stability and film thickness experiments were carried out to help to evaluate and select the candidate organics. The attachment studies showed that droplets of the selectes organics readily attached to a bitumen surface compared to air bubbles. Above all stable foams can be produced by hexadecane and toluene and their mixtures with hexane and heptane. The ability to reduce surface tension appears to be the governing factor. The alkane mixtures gave higher foamability than toluene-based mixtures from a combination of criteria, 25:75 hexadecane/heptane appears to be a promising candidate.
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