Polímeros: Ciência e Tecnologia
Polímeros: Ciência e Tecnologia
Original Article

Plastics floatability: effect of saponin and sodium lignosulfonate as wetting agents

Pita, Fernando; Castilho, Ana

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Froth flotation is the most common process in mineral processing. For the separation of plastic mixtures by flotation, the use of appropriate wetting agents is mandatory. The floatability of six post-consumer plastics was studied at different concentrations of the wetting agents, saponin and sodium lignosulfonate. Also, the influence of size and shape of the particles were analyzed. Contact angle and floatability of the six plastics decreased with increasing wetting agents concentration. The order of floatability is similar to the order of the contact angles values. However, the influence of the wetting agents in the plastics floatability is more pronounced than in the contact angle. Floatability decreased with the increase of particle density, particle size and spherical shape. For fine particles floatability is fundamentally conditioned by the contact angle, while for coarse particles floatability is fundamentally conditioned by the particles weight.


flotation; particle size; plastic; wetting agent.


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