Freshwater has become increasingly scarce in many countries. To reduce the consumption of freshwater, the use of saline water resources in industry could provide an opportunity to meet the challenge of water-supply sustainability. However, the presence of electrolytes in saline water causes the coagulation of kaolinite, the colloid stability of which plays a key role in the processing of a number of minerals. Therefore, the dispersion of kaolinite in saline water was studied here. Electrophoretic mobility and colloid stability studies were conducted on a sodium hexametaphosphate-kaolinite system in the presence of NaCl, KCl, CaCl2, and MgCl2, the major electrolytes in saline water resources. The effect of each electrolyte on kaolinite dispersion was studied. Based on the studies of individual electrolytes, a method was developed to disperse kaolinite in 1:1 diluted synthetic seawater with distilled water, which may potentially reduce the consumption of freshwater by 50% when applied in industry.

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