Reducing Axial Mixing in Flotation Columns
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 1995
The axial mixing characteristics of a pilot-scale flotation column were investigated with the objective of identifying means to mitigate the extent of axial mixing that adversely affects its grade/recovery performance. A wide range of design and operating conditions was investigated and the experimental results, obtained using the dynamic response method, were analyzed using three axial mixing models. The dynamic response of the column can best be described using the axial dispersion model. The results obtained suggest that the value of the axial dispersion coefficient, EL. can be signi6cantly reduced by judicial selection of hydrodynamic conditions and/or the use of column inserts that suppress the onset of hydrodynamic instabilities inherent to the operation of conventional flotation columns. Up to 40% reduction in the value of EL was thus obtained by using spargers that produce more uniform bubble sizes, while up to 30% reductions were obtained by controlling the residual frother concentration.