Large Flotation Cell Design and Development

Degner, V. R. ; Treweek, H. B. ; Herbst, J. ; Poling, G.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 22
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1976
Current mineral industry trends toward handling the high tonnages of lower grade ore and tailings retreat lead to a continuing need for large volume flotation cells. The benefits which accompany the larger cell flotation circuit include reduced capital cost, less mill floor space, reduced operational complexity, and less maintenance, provided the metallurgical performance and solids suspension capability of the cell are not compromised. This study reviews development considerations pertinent to large mechanical air induction type flotation cells from the standpoint of cell internal hydrodynamic characteristics and metallurgical performance. While the importance of process related factors such as chemical usage, pH control, solids size and loading, and circuit arrangement cannot be denied, this study will emphasize the relationship of cell size (volume), mechanism geometry (impeller diameter), and mechanism operating conditions (rotor speed and submergence), to air transfer, liquid circulation, liquid "rise velocity" and mechanism power draw. Specific hydraulic performance maps for large capacity 300 and 500 cu ft flotation cells will be reviewed in terms of the relationship between the operational variables and the air and liquid flow conditions within the cell. Metallurgical results, obtained under plant operating conditions for 300 and 500 cu ft cells, are included to illustrate the metallurgical performance similarity of flotation cells which follow hydrodynamic scale-up criteria set forth in this investigation.
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