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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/N65172/01
Title: FLOTATION: MODELLING THE ORGANIC/SOLID INTERFACE
Principal Investigator: De Leeuw, Professor NH
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Reading
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 2000 Ends: 30 September 2003 Value (£): 61,816
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Complex fluids & soft solids Surfaces & Interfaces
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology Manufacturing
Water
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The project will employ state-of-the-art simulation methods to examine fundamental and applied aspects of the three-phase systems which are of considerable scientific interest and of growing technological importance in flotation technologies, which are used extensively for (i) the concentration of mineral ores in the mining industry; (ii) treatment of waste water and (iii) enrichment of pharmaceutical products. Experimentally, the various processes determining an effective flotation scheme, such as rate and selectivity, are difficult to evaluate separately. However, a combination of computational techniques is ideally suited to identify the crucial steps in the mineral separation process, which is based on the selective adsorption of surfactants. We propose using ab initio techniques to model the interactions occurring at the mineral surface between the surface atoms and adsorbing species such as water and organic molecules, and to develop interatomic potential parameters for molecular dynamics simulations of quantitatively larger scale systems, containing both mineral surfaces and surfactants in aqueous environment. The aims are, first to investigate the major factors determining adsorption of surfactants to minerals, secondly to design optimum surfactants for any given mineral using computer simulation to quantify the molecular recognition, and finally to develop computational techniques to model three-phase systmes.
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Organisation Website: http://www.rdg.ac.uk