Adsorption of itaconic acid from aqueous solutions onto alumina
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Itaconic acid, IA (C5H6O4), was investigated as a potential flocculant for the aqueous processing of alumina powders. The adsorption of IA, as a function of its concentration and pH value of the solution, onto the alumina surface was studied by the solution depletion method. The stability of the suspensions in the presence of itaconic acid was evaluated in light of the surface charge of the alumina powder used, the degree of dissociation of IA, as well as the sedimentation behavior and rheology of the suspensions. It was found that the adsorption process is extremely pH dependent; the maximum adsorption of IA onto alumina surface occurring at a pH close to the value of the first IA dissociation constant, pK(a1). Also, IA does not influence the value of the point of zero charge of alumina. It was shown that IA represents an efficient flocculant for concentrated acidic alumina suspensions.