• flocculation;
  • kaolin;
  • cationic surfactant;
  • CPC;
  • cationic polyacrylamide;
  • adsorption;
  • settling rate


The flocculation of kaolin suspended in a dilute salt solution was studied as a function of the addition of cationic surfactant and cationic polyacrylamide (CPAM) added separately, consecutively, or simultaneously. Cationic polyacrylamide caused flocculation by bridging when added in low concentrations, but at higher concentrations, charge neutralization became the dominant mechanism and the flocculation rate was highly dependent on the charge density of the polymer. Adsorption of sufficient polymer or surfactant (cetyl pyridinium chloride) prevented immediate adsorption of the other, although surfactant could replace polymer after extended agitation. The adsorption of polymer was greatest when small flocs were formed by charge neutralization or by prolonged shaking. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 83: 2382–2389, 2002