The Effect of Added Base on Coal Wetting Ability of Nonionic Surfactant Solutions Used for Dust Control

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Mining Engineering

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Kim, J.; Tien, Jerry C.
Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME)
Mining Engineering
article description
Polyoxyethylene and polyglycerol-based nonionic surfactants have good potential as coal dust control wetting agents, because the hydrophilic head group and hydrophobic tail group within each molecule are well balanced and their chemical structures have a strong hydrogen bonding affinity with water. The wetting ability of the surfactants can be further enhanced by adding bases to the system environment. If bases (potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide) are put into the surfactant solutions as additives, the wettability of the coal particle surface is significantly enhanced. The addition of bases causes the oxygens in the hydrophilic head groups of the surfactant molecules to repel from the coal surface. Coal particle wettability was determined experimentally with a sink test. The results demonstrated that significant wetting improvement occurred even when very small amounts of bases are added to the nonionic surfactant solutions. -from Authors