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.
2022 - Avenida Brasil 2162, Valparaíso, en la Facultad de Ingeniería de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso.