Recent Advances in Flotation Process

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2023) | Viewed by 27407

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Mineral Processing Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, Maslak, Istanbul 34467, Turkey
Interests: coal processing; flotation; gravity separation; rheology

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Guest Editor
Department of Mineral Processing Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul 34469, Türkiye
Interests: surface chemistry; coal processing; mineral processing; flotation
Department of Mining Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Adana Alparslan Türkeş Science and Technology University, Sarıçam, Adana 01250, Turkey
Interests: mineral processing; surface chemistry; morphological analysis; theoretical calculations
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Dear Colleagues,

It is well-known that froth flotation has been one of the most important methods for separating different minerals based on the difference in their wettability in relation to appropriate circuit design, optimization, and dynamic process control as well as the true selection of reagent type, particle size, pH, etc.

New research, applications, and control systems are required to shed light on very fine liberation sizes and on more complex structures of target minerals and provide a solution for the enrichment of minerals using the flotation method.

In this regard, the challenges are not only those listed above but also include the usage of water and energy and the costs of the grinding conditions, which need to be adjusted to obtain suitable particle sizes and liberation. Thus, considering those factors, new research by means of theoretical to lab-scale and even plant-scale applications will provide novel solutions for the mineral processing community. 

Research papers discussing theoretical aspects of flotation, reagent characterization, improved plant applications, and control systems and new and developable studies from lab-scale to plant-scale applications for all types of ore deposits are invited for submission  this Special Issue entitled “Recent Advances in Flotation Process”.

Prof. Dr. Feridun Boylu
Prof. Dr. Orhan Özdemir
Dr. Onur Guven
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • flotation
  • particle morphology
  • flotation reagents
  • theoretical assumptions
  • flotation kinetics
  • new measurement techniques in flotation
  • flotation of both coarse and ultrafine materials
  • machine learning applications in flotation
  • dynamic process control in flotation circuits
  • impact of particle morphology (shape, roughness, and surface properties) on flotation
  • flotation mechanisms of industrial minerals surface chemistry of minerals and physicochemical problems of flotation processes
  • discussions on wettability, surface tension/energy, contact angle and zeta potential measurements
  • adsorption mechanisms of ionic and nonionic surfactants
  • kinetics, and thermodynamic aspects
  • industrial and fundamental challenges of clay minerals in flotation processes
  • developments in frothers and their effect on flotation performance
  • hydrodynamic properties and gas dispersion in mechanical, column and pneumatic flotation cells
  • particle–bubble interactions and their influences on flotation kinetics key challenges related to floatability of semi-soluble and soluble minerals
  • fresh and circulating water compositions and their impacts on selective separation
  • ultrasonic- and nanobubble-assisted flotation processes
  • recent advances in coal flotation
  • implications of XDLVO theory on flotation

Published Papers (17 papers)

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14 pages, 4242 KiB  
Article
Correlation of Flotation Recoveries and Bubble–Particle Attachment Time for Dodecyl Ammonium Hydrochloride/Frother/Quartz Flotation System
by Khandjamts Batjargal, Onur Güven, Orhan Ozdemir, Feridun Boylu, Yusuf Enes Pural and Mehmet Sabri Çelik
Minerals 2023, 13(10), 1305; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13101305 - 9 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 981
Abstract
Recent studies in the flotation of fine particles have necessitated new techniques and analyses for developing various strategies. Particularly, the improvements in flotation chemistry including the selection of the type of frother, collector, and other reagents have become very significant. In this study, [...] Read more.
Recent studies in the flotation of fine particles have necessitated new techniques and analyses for developing various strategies. Particularly, the improvements in flotation chemistry including the selection of the type of frother, collector, and other reagents have become very significant. In this study, the effect of different commercial polypropylene glycol frothers (PPG200, 400, and 600) in the presence of dodecylammonium hydrochloride (DAH) was investigated for their contribution to flotation recoveries and bubble–particle attachment time values of fine quartz minerals. Zeta potential measurements with DAH were also carried out as a function of pH and reagent concentration to justify the effect of collector usage alone on the charge of particles. A linear increase in flotation recoveries against collector concentration, e.g., 7.4% recovery at 1 × 10−5 mol/L DAH and 65.4% recovery at 1 × 10−3 mol/L DAH, was obtained. In this context, the contribution of frothers was particularly important in that a recovery of 15.91% in the absence of the frother and a modest increase to 19.70% was obtained upon the addition of PPG600 at its critical coalescence concentration (CCC) of 3 ppm. Finally, a strong correlation was found between the bubble–particle attachment time and flotation recovery as a function of collector concentration (lowest attachment time vs. highest flotation recovery). The latter correlation is very promising because bubble attachment time leads to various micro-mechanisms in flotation including bubble film thinning, bubble rupture, and induction time, and consequently, frother efficiency in the presence and absence of a collector. As a result, the experimental findings were gathered to achieve a consistent base for further fundamental studies on the application of the synergistic effect of frothers and collectors in the flotation of fine particles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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11 pages, 5016 KiB  
Article
Effects of Sec-Octanol and Terpineol on Froth Properties and Flotation Selectivity Index for Microcrystalline Graphite
by Xuexia Wang, Juan Zhang, Muhammad Bilal, Xiangning Bu and Yemin Wang
Minerals 2023, 13(9), 1231; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13091231 - 20 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 943
Abstract
Microcrystalline graphite is a valuable non-metallic mineral that can be separated by flotation, a physico-chemical processing method that uses air bubbles to capture mineral particles. The size and stability of the bubbles, which depend on the type and amount of frother added, affect [...] Read more.
Microcrystalline graphite is a valuable non-metallic mineral that can be separated by flotation, a physico-chemical processing method that uses air bubbles to capture mineral particles. The size and stability of the bubbles, which depend on the type and amount of frother added, affect the flotation performance and the recovery of water from the froth layer. However, the effects of different types of frother on the froth properties and water recovery of microcrystalline graphite flotation are not well understood. In this study, two common frothers, sec-octanol and terpineol, were compared in terms of their effects on the bubble size, froth layer height, water recovery, and flotation selectivity index (SI) of microcrystalline graphite flotation. It was found that sec-octanol produced smaller bubbles than terpineol, but also a slightly lower froth layer height. The water recovery was higher with sec-octanol than with terpineol. The SI values were similar for both frothers, indicating comparable flotation performance. This study revealed the differences between sec-octanol and terpineol in terms of their effects on the froth properties and water recovery of microcrystalline graphite flotation. These findings can help optimize the choice and dosage of frother for this important mineral processing method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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13 pages, 3082 KiB  
Article
Simulating the Impact of Ore and Water Quality on Flotation Recovery during the Life of a Mine
by Annukka Aaltonen, Caroline Izart, Mikko Lyyra, Aleksandra Lang, Eija Saari and Olli Dahl
Minerals 2023, 13(9), 1230; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13091230 - 19 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1273
Abstract
Blending of different ore types in the concentrator feed contributes significantly to maintaining a high recovery of valuable minerals with required grades in the concentrate. It is feasible to develop an ore-blending scheme over the life of a mine already in the design [...] Read more.
Blending of different ore types in the concentrator feed contributes significantly to maintaining a high recovery of valuable minerals with required grades in the concentrate. It is feasible to develop an ore-blending scheme over the life of a mine already in the design phase of the plant. In addition to ore characteristics, water quality is known to impact mineral recovery. A blending plan could also be developed for the different water streams of a future concentrator. This paper describes a novel modeling and simulation approach to predict metallurgical response combining ore types and water quality. The model is based on kinetic laboratory flotation test data, and it was tested on a case study. As a result, rougher flotation grade-recovery curves dependent on ore types and water quality are presented over the predicted life of the mine. The simulation results can be exploited in project design to maximize the recovery of valuable minerals and to ensure environmentally sound and profitable mining operations. Overall, the developed modeling tool can be applied widely for minerals processed by using froth flotation and water types available for kinetic laboratory flotation tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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12 pages, 2692 KiB  
Article
Quartz Fine Particle Processing: Hydrophobic Aggregation by Shear Flocculation
by Francielle Nogueira, Karine Rodrigues, Carlos Pereira, André Carlos Silva, Elenice M. Schons Silva, Asghar Azizi and Ahmad Hassanzadeh
Minerals 2023, 13(9), 1208; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13091208 - 14 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1151
Abstract
This study investigates the hydrophobic aggregation of fine quartz particles through shear flocculation induced by dodecylamine in aqueous solutions. The effect of stirring speed, collector concentration, flocculation time, and pH were investigated. The results showed that the impact of stirring speed on particle [...] Read more.
This study investigates the hydrophobic aggregation of fine quartz particles through shear flocculation induced by dodecylamine in aqueous solutions. The effect of stirring speed, collector concentration, flocculation time, and pH were investigated. The results showed that the impact of stirring speed on particle aggregation in the absence of a collector is very limited. Quantitative analyses demonstrated that the variation of collector concentration intensified the flocculation process more than the stirring rate. Numerical optimization showed that the large volume occupied by the flocs was 12.3 mL, achieved with a stirring speed of 2135 rpm and dodecylamine concentration of 1.39 × 10−2 mol·L−1. The highest quartz particle aggregation was observed at pH 10.5, corroborating the importance of the non-dissociated amine molecules for particle hydrophobization. High zeta potential values did not result in reducing aggregation, indicating that hydrophobicity was the governing factor in the shear flocculation process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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21 pages, 7565 KiB  
Article
Depression of Arsenopyrite during Collectorless Flotation in Presence of Aqueous Metal Ions and Inorganic Compounds
by Martín Reyes, Edgar Martínez Rojo, Ramiro Escudero, Francisco Patiño, Iván A. Reyes, Mizraim U. Flores, Miguel Pérez, Julio Juárez and Francisco Raúl Barrientos
Minerals 2023, 13(9), 1200; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13091200 - 13 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
Currently, the depression of arsenopyrite during the flotation of base metal mineral sulfides is being continuously studied to reduce its presence in sulfide concentrates of economic interest. In this work, the influence of aqueous metal ions (Fe2+, Cu2+, and [...] Read more.
Currently, the depression of arsenopyrite during the flotation of base metal mineral sulfides is being continuously studied to reduce its presence in sulfide concentrates of economic interest. In this work, the influence of aqueous metal ions (Fe2+, Cu2+, and Zn2+) in concentrations of 5, 25, and 75 g∗ton−1; mixtures of aqueous chlorides (ammonium and magnesium) and aluminum sulfate (AS)–sodium silicate (SS); and the use of only ordinary Portland cement (OPC) in all concentrations of 0.05 to 0.6 g∗ton−1 during the collectorless flotation and depression of a single-phase majority of arsenopyrite was analyzed. The results revealed a decrease in the hydrophobicity; its depression was greater with the use of OPC. At the concentration of 0.4 g∗ton−1 at alkaline pH and a pulp potential of +0.067 V, in 0.5 min, its flotation was 15.4 % w/w and the cumulative recovery at 10 min was 46.4 % w/w. The arsenopyrite depression was as follows: OPC > mixed chlorides > ASSS. Fe2+, Zn2+, Cu2+ ions activate flotation arsenopyrite. The solids obtained during the flotation were characterized using FTIR, and the functional groups responsible for the depression of arsenopyrite were identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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13 pages, 1373 KiB  
Article
Awaruite, a New Large Nickel Resource: Flotation under Weakly Acidic Conditions
by Santiago Seiler, Gustavo Sánchez, Marek Pawlik, Peter Bradshaw and Bern Klein
Minerals 2023, 13(9), 1147; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13091147 - 30 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1398
Abstract
To support the transformation to clean low carbon technologies, there is a demand for critical metals such as nickel. Awaruite is a less common nickel-bearing mineral with unique properties and responses to mineral separation. This paper presents the findings of a flotation study [...] Read more.
To support the transformation to clean low carbon technologies, there is a demand for critical metals such as nickel. Awaruite is a less common nickel-bearing mineral with unique properties and responses to mineral separation. This paper presents the findings of a flotation study to recover awaruite from the Baptiste ultramafic deposit, located in central British Columbia, Canada. Nickel recoveries of up to 65% at the rougher stage were obtained with xanthate as a collector at a pH level of 4.5. Awaruite flotation was shown to be highly dependent on the slurry pH. At weakly acidic conditions, the awaruite surface is activated through the dissolution of the passivation layer formed during grinding in alkaline conditions. Desliming was shown to reduce the acid consumption required to maintain the pH, probably by removing the highly reactive serpentine slimes generated during grinding. Rougher, followed by cleaner stages of flotation, showed that a high-grade concentrate can be produced with up to 45% nickel, 1.3% cobalt, 0.7% copper and negligible concentrations of penalty elements, such as arsenic, lead, and selenium, among others. A nickel flotation concentrate from an awaruite deposit is a promising feedstock for not only stainless-steel production but also for clean energy technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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19 pages, 6402 KiB  
Article
Ultrafine Particle Flotation in a Concept Flotation Cell Combining Turbulent Mixing Zone and Deep Froth Fractionation with a Special Focus on the Property Vector of Particles
by Johanna Sygusch, Nora Stefenelli and Martin Rudolph
Minerals 2023, 13(8), 1099; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13081099 - 17 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1450
Abstract
Froth flotation faces increasing challenges in separating particles as those become finer and more complex, thus reducing the efficiency of the separation process. A lab flotation apparatus has been designed combining the advantages of agitator-type froth flotation for high turbulences and column flotation [...] Read more.
Froth flotation faces increasing challenges in separating particles as those become finer and more complex, thus reducing the efficiency of the separation process. A lab flotation apparatus has been designed combining the advantages of agitator-type froth flotation for high turbulences and column flotation with a deep froth zone for a fractionating effect, also enabling a study on the effect of different particle property vectors. A model system of ultrafine (<10 µm) particles was used for flotation to study how the separation process is influenced by the ultrafine property vectors of shape and wettability. To evaluate the new apparatus, flotation tests were carried out in a benchmark mechanical flotation cell under comparable conditions. Higher wettabilities result in higher recoveries, but the results show that optimum levels of hydrophobicity vary for different particle shapes. Different behaviours are observed for differently shaped particles, depending on their wettability state. The entrainment of unwanted gangue is reduced with increasing froth depth. While higher recoveries are obtained for the benchmark cell, the newly developed apparatus produces concentrates with higher grades. Our findings contribute to ultrafine flotation techniques and especially our understanding of the complex effect of particle shape in combination with the other property vectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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14 pages, 4639 KiB  
Article
Apatite–Calcite Flotation Separation Using Sodium N-Lauroylsarcosinate as a Selective Collector
by Mohamed M. Abdel-Halim, Ruihua Fan, Mohamed A. Abdel Khalek, Renji Zheng, Shihong Xu and Zhiyong Gao
Minerals 2023, 13(7), 970; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13070970 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1385
Abstract
Froth flotation is a commonly utilized beneficiation technique for effectively separating apatite from other gangue minerals, such as calcite. It is difficult to achieve good separation with fatty acid collectors due to their similar interactions with apatite and calcite. In this work, sodium [...] Read more.
Froth flotation is a commonly utilized beneficiation technique for effectively separating apatite from other gangue minerals, such as calcite. It is difficult to achieve good separation with fatty acid collectors due to their similar interactions with apatite and calcite. In this work, sodium N-lauroyl sarcosinate (SNLS) was used as the collector for the selective separation of calcite from apatite without a depressant. The experiments revealed that SNLS had a much better selectivity and a stronger affinity with calcite compared to apatite, with little effect on the flotation of apatite observed at a pH of 10. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analyses were conducted to explain the selective collector process of SNLS. The mechanism experiments demonstrate that SNLS can chemically bond to apatite and calcite minerals to produce Ca-NLS chelates. The active O atoms of the amide and carboxyl groups of SNLS accomplish this. Calcite has a greater Ca-reactivity than apatite, and as a result, the adsorption quantity on the calcite surface is greater than that on the apatite surface. FTIR analyses indicate that SNLS exhibits a greater affinity for the calcite surface than for apatite, a finding that is supported by first-principle density functional theory (DFT) calculations showing a higher adsorption energy of SNLS on the calcite surface. DFT calculations showed that SNLS forms stronger O-Ca bonds on the calcite surface and is less hindered by H2O. This work shows that the surfactant sodium N-lauroylsarcosinate (SNLS) can be an ideal collector for the flotation of phosphate minerals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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27 pages, 6974 KiB  
Article
Surface Chemistry Tuning Solutions for Flotation of Fine Particles
by Stoyan I. Karakashev, Nikolay A. Grozev, Kristina Mircheva, Seher Ata, Ghislain Bournival, Svetlana Hristova and Orhan Ozdemir
Minerals 2023, 13(7), 957; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13070957 - 18 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1408
Abstract
This paper analyses the basic obstacles preventing the fine particles from floating and suggests solutions for the wetting zone between the bubble and the particle during their collision. It has been shown in our recent paper that the basic problem of fine particle [...] Read more.
This paper analyses the basic obstacles preventing the fine particles from floating and suggests solutions for the wetting zone between the bubble and the particle during their collision. It has been shown in our recent paper that the basic problem of fine particle flotation is not the low frequency of collisions with the bubbles, but it consists of the efficiency of these collisions. Moreover, there exists a thermodynamic lower size limit for flotation of fine hydrophobized particles in the sub-micron range, and it is weakly dependent on the size of the bubbles. It was shown that fast flotation with high recovery of fine particles can be achieved by means of: (i) electrostatic attraction between particles and bubbles; (ii) a significant increase in the level of their hydrophobicity; (iii) existence of fine bubbles in the flotation cell. It was shown as well that the drainage of the wetting film between bubbles and particles is unimportant, but the deformation of the bubble by the particle during their clash plays a major role in its rupturing. Electrostatic attraction between bubbles and fine silica particles was achieved with hexylamine. It causes a moderate increase of their hydrophobicity from contact angle = 39.5° ± 2.5° to contact angle = 51.7° ± 7.5° and gave almost 90% recovery within 2 min. Unfortunately, the selectivity of this collector is unsatisfactory if the fine silica particles are mixed with fine magnesite particles. It was shown that even being hydrophilic, the recovery of fine particles can jump to almost 50% if strong electrostatic attraction with the bubbles exists. It was demonstrated as well with the collector hexamethyldisilazane causes significant increase of the hydrophobicity of the fine silica particles (contact angle ≈ 90°) results in skin flotation with 100% recovery when alone and 97% recovery when being mixed with fine magnesite particles (51/49). A new collector significantly increasing the hydrophobicity of magnesite fine particles was tested (disodium dodecyl phosphate) resulting in 89% recovery of fine magnesite particles alone and about 98% recovery in a mixture with fine silica particles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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10 pages, 1563 KiB  
Article
Size-by-Liberation Characterisation of an Industrial Flotation Bank in Rougher and Cleaner–Scavenger Operation
by Paulina Vallejos, Juan Yianatos, Marcelo Rodríguez and Jorge Cortínez
Minerals 2023, 13(7), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13070875 - 29 Jun 2023
Viewed by 816
Abstract
The flotation process characterization is typically based on the mineral properties and related to the feed particle size. Laboratory testing allows for the evaluation of the batch flotation kinetics, while plant surveys are carried out for the plant evaluation, and sometimes the rougher [...] Read more.
The flotation process characterization is typically based on the mineral properties and related to the feed particle size. Laboratory testing allows for the evaluation of the batch flotation kinetics, while plant surveys are carried out for the plant evaluation, and sometimes the rougher flotation stage is also characterized by kinetics, considering either the full sampling of the circuit or the short-cut method. Comparisons of plant and batch results are useful for identifying the scale-up factors. The kinetic evaluation of cleaner stages is less common in plant surveys, and usually, only the overall cleaner and scavenger results are reported. This condition limits a more comprehensive understanding of these stages, which have significant differences from the rougher operation. In this study, the effect of main operating variables in cleaner and scavenger stages, such as finer particle size, higher mass recoveries, higher liberation, particles entrainment, froth recoveries, mineral grades, froth depth, gas rate, and others, was analysed by using an industrial simulation tool that was built from a wide industrial database. For this purpose, data from plant kinetic surveys was used to characterize the mineral feed entering the cleaner–scavenger stage, which allowed for calibrating the simulation tool and predicting the overall circuit performance. The metallurgical results of the cleaner–scavenger bank were compared with those when the bank was operating at a rougher stage (previous operation). The results allowed for evaluating the differences in metallurgical results of the cleaner–scavenger and rougher banks, mainly related to the differences in particle size and liberation as well as in the mass flowrate of collected particles, which affects bubble loading and consequently froth stability, that in turns impacts on froth recovery. The operating conditions and mineral characteristics of each stage also impacted the water recovery and gangue entrainment along the banks. The comparison of predicted recoveries and grades in rougher, cleaner, and scavenger stages showed a good agreement with plant data. These results validated the simulation tool, which is useful and flexible enough to characterize different stages, predict performance and explore new operating conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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19 pages, 3504 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Fines Recovery by Hybrid Flotation Column and Mixed Collectors
by Polyxeni K. Tsave, Margaritis Kostoglou, Thodoris D. Karapantsios and Nikolaos K. Lazaridis
Minerals 2023, 13(7), 849; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13070849 - 23 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1315
Abstract
The froth flotation technique can be considered one of the most efficient methods for the separation of minerals. Prior to utilizing any physicochemical separation method, the size of the mined ore must be decreased to facilitate the release of the valuable materials. This [...] Read more.
The froth flotation technique can be considered one of the most efficient methods for the separation of minerals. Prior to utilizing any physicochemical separation method, the size of the mined ore must be decreased to facilitate the release of the valuable materials. This practice, along with the increased exploitation of ores that carry fine mineral particles caused the production of fine and ultrafine particles which are difficult to recover with classical enrichment methods, due to their different characteristics compared to coarser particles. It is established that fine and ultrafine particles are difficult to float, leading to losses of valuable minerals, mainly due to their low collision efficiency with bubbles. Moreover, fine particles require higher reagent consumption due to the fact that have a higher specific area, and finally, their flotation is limited by low kinetic energy. Flotation of fines can be enhanced by either decreasing bubble diameter or increasing their apparent size, or moreover, by enhancing the collector’s adsorption (their hydrophobic behavior) using alternative reagents (non-ionic co-collectors). In the present research, flotation experiments on a hybrid electrolytic flotation column that can produce microbubbles (−50 μm), were carried out for recovering fine magnesite (−25 μm) particles. In addition, the synergistic effect of anionic/non-ionic collectors were studied for the enhancement of fines recovery. Experimental flotation results so far designate the enhancement of fine magnesite particle recovery by approximately 8% with the addition of microbubbles. Finally, the synergistic effect of anionic/non-anionic collectors led to the improvement of flotation recovery by almost 12%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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18 pages, 6348 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Amenability of a PGM-Bearing Ore to Coarse Particle Flotation
by Jestos Taguta, Mehdi Safari, Veruska Govender and Deshenthree Chetty
Minerals 2023, 13(5), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13050698 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2640
Abstract
Coarse particle flotation (CPF) is one of the strategies employed to reduce energy consumption in mineral-processing circuits. HydrofloatTM (HF) technology has been successfully applied in the coarse flotation of industrial minerals and sulphide middlings. However, this technology has not yet been applied [...] Read more.
Coarse particle flotation (CPF) is one of the strategies employed to reduce energy consumption in mineral-processing circuits. HydrofloatTM (HF) technology has been successfully applied in the coarse flotation of industrial minerals and sulphide middlings. However, this technology has not yet been applied in platinum group minerals (PGMs)’ flotation. In this paper, the amenability of platinum group minerals to CPF was investigated. Extensive flotation testwork was conducted to optimise the hydrodynamic parameters, i.e., bed level, air and water flow rates, in the flotation of coarse PGM feed using Hydrofloat. Mineralogical analysis of the feed and selected flotation products was conducted to understand the reasons for the recovery and loss of the valuable minerals. The results showed that the HF separator could upgrade the PGM ore with particles as coarse as +106 − 300 µm. For the optimised test, a reasonable Pt, Pd and Au recovery of 84% was achieved at a grade of 10 g/t and 16.5% mass pull, despite the platinum group minerals being poorly liberated (4.5 vol% fully liberated). The results demonstrated that HF achieved high recovery efficiencies across the 150–300 microns size fraction. The HF was therefore able to substantially increase the upper particle size that can be successfully treated by flotation in PGM operations. It was found that an increase in bed height, water rate and air flow rate resulted in an increase in recovery to a maximum. A further increase in the hydrodynamic parameters resulted in a decline in recovery. Hydrofloat outperformed the conventional Denver flotation machine across the following size fractions: +106 − 150 µm, +150 − 212 µm, +212 − 250 µm and +250 − 300 µm. The practical implications of the findings on the modification of existing circuits and the design of novel flowsheets for the processing of PGM ores with less water and energy consumption are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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8 pages, 1447 KiB  
Communication
Residence Time Distribution Measurements and Modeling in an Industrial-Scale Siemens Flotation Cell
by Luis Vinnett, Juan Yianatos, Ahmad Hassanzadeh, Francisco Díaz and Felipe Henríquez
Minerals 2023, 13(5), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13050678 - 16 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1673
Abstract
This short communication presents residence time distribution (RTD) measurements and modeling in a 16 m3 Siemens flotation cell, as the first RTD characterization in an industrial-scale pneumatic cell. The Siemens cell was installed as a pre-rougher machine in a Cu-Mo selective plant. [...] Read more.
This short communication presents residence time distribution (RTD) measurements and modeling in a 16 m3 Siemens flotation cell, as the first RTD characterization in an industrial-scale pneumatic cell. The Siemens cell was installed as a pre-rougher machine in a Cu-Mo selective plant. This plant recovered molybdenite as an enriched product, depressing copper-bearing minerals. Irradiated non-floatable solid and Br82 in water solution were employed as solid and liquid tracers, respectively. The tracers were instantly injected into the Siemens cell, and the inlet and outlet concentrations were directly measured by external non-invasive detectors. From the flotation literature, three model structures for the RTDs were evaluated, including perfect mixing, one large perfect mixer and one small perfect mixer in series (LSTS), and N perfectly mixed reactors in series. A transport delay was incorporated for all models. The LSTS representation was more consistent with the experimental data, showing that the Siemens cell RTDs presented significant deviations with respect to perfect mixing and plug-flow regimes. From the industrial measurements, mean residence times of 4.1–5.2 min were estimated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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14 pages, 3649 KiB  
Article
Kinetic Response of Industrial Flotation Banks: Effect of Particle Size and Mineralogy
by Paulina Vallejos, Juan Yianatos, Marcelo Rodriguez and Jorge Cortínez
Minerals 2023, 13(5), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13050621 - 29 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1108
Abstract
One of the main problems in current flotation plants and new projects is the significant decrease in feed grades and changes in the mineral composition, which has an important effect on the mineral liberation and associations. Additionally, flotation plants usually operate with a [...] Read more.
One of the main problems in current flotation plants and new projects is the significant decrease in feed grades and changes in the mineral composition, which has an important effect on the mineral liberation and associations. Additionally, flotation plants usually operate with a feed throughput higher than the original design, which has a significant impact on the feed particle size. All these conditions affect the metallurgical performance, and they must be evaluated and addressed by improving the control strategies for the optimization of banks. For this purpose, the flotation of valuable minerals along the circuits requires better understanding, considering the compromise between performance and selectivity in flotation circuits. This paper presents a characterization of the different minerals recovered along industrial flotation circuits. Plant sampling campaigns, performed in a copper industrial concentrator in Chile, provided the data for the study. Two rougher flotation banks consisting of cells of 130 m3 and 300 m3, were evaluated. All the samples from the industrial surveys were analysed by screening and mineralogy, and the mineral recovery along the circuits was evaluated per particle size class, liberation class, type of associations, and others. Additionally, operating data on froth depth profiles complemented the evaluation of the mineral composition of concentrate streams along the circuit. The results allowed for identifying and quantifying the main factors that affect the copper recovery and concentrate grade along the flotation banks. We found that minerals with liberation lower than 50% have a significant impact on the recovery. On the other hand, the decrease in the Cu grade in concentrates along the flotation circuits is mainly due to the relative increase of middling minerals (less liberated), non-valuable floatable minerals, such as free pyrite, and gangue entrainment. The characterization of the gangue entrainment flowrate along the flotation banks showed a strong relationship with froth depth, which becomes more critical towards the last cells of the banks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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27 pages, 9186 KiB  
Article
Investigations of Monomineralic Flotation of Galena, Sphalerite, and Pyrite at Different Temperatures
by Dzmitry Pashkevich, Ronghao Li, Ozan Kökkılıç and Kristian Edmund Waters
Minerals 2023, 13(5), 615; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13050615 - 28 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2295
Abstract
Temperature variations could potentially impact flotation performance, leading to operational and economic issues. Several historical and currently operating plants across Canada have reported seasonal metal losses as one of their major challenges. Improvements in flotation efficiency at cold temperatures are important for the [...] Read more.
Temperature variations could potentially impact flotation performance, leading to operational and economic issues. Several historical and currently operating plants across Canada have reported seasonal metal losses as one of their major challenges. Improvements in flotation efficiency at cold temperatures are important for the sustainable development of the industry, especially in view of expanding mining operations to the north and the increasing impact of climate change-originated weather extremes on mining operations. To better understand the driving mechanisms of the seasonal metallurgical variation, the degree of vulnerability of froth flotation to fluctuations in temperature, and to develop recommendations addressing seasonally driven losses, a series of mono-mineral flotation tests were conducted. The observed variations in yield and recovery kinetics for different sulfide minerals follow a similar pattern: higher recovery and slower kinetics at lower temperatures, and lower recoveries and faster kinetics at higher temperature conditions. Following the results of the flotation tests, foam height and stability were investigated at different temperatures to explain the observed variations. A high correlation between changes in mono-mineral flotation behavior and foam properties with temperature was revealed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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Review

Jump to: Research, Other

22 pages, 6093 KiB  
Review
Bubble Formation and Motion in Liquids—A Review
by Dominik Kosior, Agata Wiertel-Pochopien, Przemyslaw B. Kowalczuk and Jan Zawala
Minerals 2023, 13(9), 1130; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13091130 - 26 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2614
Abstract
In flotation, a bubble acts as a carrier for attached particles. The properties of the gas–liquid interface of the bubble are one of the main factors determining the bubble motion and flotation efficiency. Monitoring of the bubble motion may deliver interesting information about [...] Read more.
In flotation, a bubble acts as a carrier for attached particles. The properties of the gas–liquid interface of the bubble are one of the main factors determining the bubble motion and flotation efficiency. Monitoring of the bubble motion may deliver interesting information about the state of the gas–liquid interface. In the case of pure liquids, a bubble surface is fully mobile, while the presence of surface-active substances (e.g., surfactants) causes diminishing bubble velocity due to the retardation of the interface fluidity. The theoretical prediction of the terminal velocity value for the bubble has been investigated for over a century, delivering a number of various models describing bubble motion in a liquid. This narrative review is devoted to the motion of the bubble in stagnant liquids and is divided into three main sections describing: (i) experimental techniques for tracking bubble motion, (ii) bubble motion and shape deformation in clean water, and (iii) bubble motion in solutions of surface-active substances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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Other

Jump to: Research, Review

5 pages, 433 KiB  
Technical Note
On Limits to Flotation Cell Size
by James A. Finch and Yue Hua Tan
Minerals 2023, 13(3), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13030411 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1593
Abstract
Mechanical cells have seen an exponential increase in size over the past 60 years. However, a possible size limitation due to carrying capacity constraints has been raised. Taking a Cu porphyry case, a cell sizing exercise is used to show that possible size [...] Read more.
Mechanical cells have seen an exponential increase in size over the past 60 years. However, a possible size limitation due to carrying capacity constraints has been raised. Taking a Cu porphyry case, a cell sizing exercise is used to show that possible size limitation due to carrying capacity can be tested using available techniques. A range of conditions is explored that suggest a continued increase above the current maximum cell size, ca. 600 m3, does not seem warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flotation Process)
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