Flotation is a water treatment alternative to sedimentation, and uses small bubbles to remove low-density particles from potable water and wastewater. The effect of zeta potential, bubble size and particle size on removal efficiency of the electro-flotation process was investigated because previous model-simulations indicated that these attributes are critical for high collision efficiency between micro-bubbles and particles. Solutions containing Al3 +  as the metal ion were subjected to various conditions. The zeta potentials of bubbles and particles were similar under identical conditions, and their charges were influenced by metal ion concentration and pH. Maximum removal efficiency was 98 and 12% in the presence and absence of flocculation, respectively. Removal efficiency was higher when particle size was similar to bubble size. These results agree with modelling simulations and indicate that collision efficiency is greater when the zeta potential of one is negative and that of the other is positive and when their sizes are similar.

This content is only available as a PDF.