A Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Polymers’ Interactions with Kaolinite (010) Surfaces in Saline Solutions

Gonzalo R. Quezada, Williams Leiva, Jorge H. Saavedra, Pedro Robles, Edelmira Gálvez, Ricardo I. Jeldres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The search for polymers that meet the demands of the water recovery process in mining is a contingent challenge. Both the presence of clays and saline waters can impair water recovery from tailings when conventional flocculants are used. In this work, the adsorption of polyacrylamide (PAM), hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM), poly(2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propane sulfonic acid) (PAMPS), polyacrylic acid (PAA), polyethylene oxide (PEO), and guar gum (GUAR) on a kaolinite surface (010) was investigated using classical molecular dynamics. The results show that the presence of sodium chloride modifies the affinities of the polymers with kaolinite (010). At low salt concentrations, the PAM and GUAR polymers generally show higher adsorption due to the formation of hydrogen bridges. However, the highest adsorptions occur in salt solutions in the presence of HPAM by cationic bridging with sodium ions as a mediator. This high affinity of HPAM is not efficient for flocculation because it re-disperses the particles, but it is promising for the design of new additives produced by grafting HPAM groups onto advanced polymers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3851
JournalPolymers
Volume14
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • edge surface
  • flocculant adsorption
  • kaolinite
  • molecular dynamic
  • saline water

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