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Coagulation kinetics of amorphous colloidal silica suspensions with and without hydroxypropyl cellulose polymer

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The coagulation rate constant of submicron silica has been measured as a function of solution pH, salt concentration and hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) polymer concentration. Results show that the colloidal stability of silica is dominated by the cation concentration in the presence of salt in the pH range 3–9.5. The stability increases as cation concentration decreases. At low salt concentration and a minimum colloid stability was found in the intermediate pH range 4–8. These results show that differences in the literature values of the critical coagulation constant by relative light-scattering experiments can be explained by the use of the coagulation rate constant analysis. When HPC polymer was present in the solution, the colloid stability of the silica increased. The adsorption of polymer stabilizes the silica suspensions, both at low pH near the isoelectric point and at high ionic strength where it coagulates without the polymer. A monolayer coverage was necessary to provide steric stabilization. At 10−3 M KCl a smaller equilibrium concentration of HPC in solution is needed to give monolayer coverage and steric stabilization than at 1 M KCl and pH 4.2.

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Chang, S.Y., Ring, T.A. & Trujillo, E.M. Coagulation kinetics of amorphous colloidal silica suspensions with and without hydroxypropyl cellulose polymer. Colloid Polym Sci 269, 843–849 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00657451

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Key words

  • Coagulation rate constant
  • colloid stability ratio
  • adsorption isotherm
  • photon correlation spectroscopy
  • silica
  • hydroxypropyl cellulose