Flotation processes involve the use of very small bubbles (micro-bubbles) to separate particles from water. The process has become a good alternative to sedimentation, especially where the particles are small or of low density. Although the flotation process commences with a collision between particles and bubbles, most research has been focused only on the characteristics of the particles. In this paper, recent theoretical and experimental research on the characteristics of bubbles is summarized. The effect on the collision efficiency of the size and charge of bubbles is calculated through trajectory analysis. The size and charge of bubbles are measured under different conditions and the ramifications of the results are discussed. The results may lead to a better understanding and optimization of the existing process. In particular, we discuss an idea that a new advanced flotation process might be possible by the modification of the characteristics of the bubble alone or of both bubble and particle.

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