The Flotation Cell - A Critique

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 17
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1984
Although the flotation cell has been under continuous development over the past 80 years, an understanding of the precise roles of a cell in produc- ing the flotation result had evolved slowly. In fact, detailed studies of cell dynamics began only in the 1940s when flotation practice had almost reached the half-century mark. The earliest generalizations related cell capacity to power intensity (hp/vol- ume) (Rose, 1946), and specific operating features such as aeration and power ' consumption to impeller submergence and operating speed (Read, 1933). In the 1950s hydrodynamic characterization of cells through power coefficients and air flow numbers began (Arbiter and Harris, 1961) and has continued to the present, with increasing industrial use of these concepts (Degner, 1982; Degner and Treweek, 1976). Liquid flow measurements in Wemco cells (Degner, 1982) made liquid flow numbers and turnover frequencies available for more complete under- standing of cell dynamics. The present overview of flotation technology is a critique of cell design. The cell process represents the interactions between cell dynam- ics, cell geometry, and ores, with the latter prepared for that interaction through size reduction and reagent treatment. While previous invest- igations of flotation cells have accepted all cell designs uncrit- ically, the present study considers the physical process components that an effective cell must provide, and then compares a limited number of
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