Determination of the Separation Efficiency in Dense Medium Separation of Porous Materials Using Magnetic Tracers

Van Der Meer FP, ; Wilkinson RDB,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
In order to overcome the statistical limitations imposed by the need to recover density tracers by hand, magnetic density tracers were developed to determine the efficiency of dense medium separators treating porous materials. The tracers were manufactured by extrusion of polypropylene ferrosilicon mixtures and subsequently coated with a distinctive paint to allow hand sorting according to density. Fifteen tracer batches were manufactured in the range 1.61 - 1.94 g/cm3. The tracer densities were determined by a hydrostatic method. The tracer method was applied to the dense medium separation of a Moroccan oil shale in a pilot scale Dyna Whirlpool separator. For each test, about 20,000 tracers were added with the plant feed and subsequently recovered from the products with a dry low intensity magnetic separator. The Tromp curve determined by conventional heavy liquid analysis was displaced towards lower densities compared with that determined by tracers, indicating that the porous shale particles absorb heavy liquid. It is concluded that for porous materials like oil shale and coal, the tracer method gives the most accurate results. In pilot scale testwork the tracer method is also much faster than the conventional heavy liquid analysis, as rather large samples have to be processed by the latter method to ensure Representativeness.
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