Ion flotation of la3+, cd2+, and cs+ using monorhamnolipid collector

David E. Hogan, Joan E. Curry, Raina M. Maier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Water scarcity is a global issue that is expected to continue increasing in importance in the coming decades. Reclaimed water is one important source available to meet future needs. The reclamation process for wastewaters, particularly from industrial sources, involves the need to remove low-level contaminants. Here we report the efficacy of an ion flotation process that uses the biosurfactant monorhamnolipid as a metal collector to recover Cs+, Cd2+, and La3+ from water. These elements were tested at collector-to-colligend ratios of 2, 5, and 10. The collector-to-colligend ratio and metal valence play a large role in determining flotation success with removal efficiencies varying widely. The maximum removal efficiency for the metals when floated individually were 46.2, 99.8, and 98.6% for Cs+, Cd2+, and La3+, respectively. When mixed together at near equimolar concentrations removal efficiencies were 39.4, 98.4, and 88.1%, respectively. Removal efficiency for Cs+, Cd2+, and La3+ were up to 49.9, 99.5, and 51.5% when mixed at a ratio of 200:10:1, whereas conditional stability constants predict a removal order of La3+ > Cd2+ > Cs+ . Future research should examine parameters, including pH and ionic strength, that may affect the flotation process as well as actual metal-contaminated waste streams to evaluate the usefulness of this technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number43
JournalColloids and Interfaces
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Biosurfactant
  • Ion flotation
  • Metal
  • Rhamnolipid
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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