Electrostatic and Magnetic Separation

Lawver, J. E. ; Nussbaum, A. ; Wada, M. ; Hopstock, D. M. ; Brophy, J. H. ; Bronkala, W. J. ; Haskin, R. J. ; Tenpas, E. J. ; Salmi, R. W. ; Laurila, E. A.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 48
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1985
Electrostatic separation is the selective sorting of solid species by means of utilizing forces acting on charged or polarized bodies in an electric field. Separation is effected by adjusting the electric and coacting forces, such as gravity or centrifugal force, and the time forces act on the particles, such that different species will have different trajectories at some predetermined time. Separations made in air are called electrostatic separation even though there is always some flow of current. Separations made using corona discharge devices are often called high tension separations. Separations made in liquids are termed separation by dielectrophesis if motion is due to polariza¬tion effects in nonuniform electric fields and termed electrophoresis if motion is due to free charge on species in an electric field. There are no industrial applications of mineral concentration by electropho¬resis or dielectrophesis; thus this section is limited to concentration in air. Typical Industrial Separations Typical applications of electrostatic separation are: 1) Beneficiation of ores, such as the concentration of the minerals ilmenite, rutile, zircon, apatite, asbestos, hematite, and many others. 2) Purification of foods, such as the removal of trash and rodent excrement from cereal seeds. 3) Sorting of reusable wastes, such as separating insulation from copper wire shreds. 4) Electrostatic sizing, namely, the sorting of solid particles ac¬cording to their size or shape. Table I is a partial list of industrial separations made by electrostat¬ics. The various types of electrostatic separators and the feasibility of commercial separations are most easily understood by reviewing pertinent basic electrostatic theory and the selected electrical proper¬ties of solids prior to describing the equipment and application. This is the sequence of presentation used in this section. Electrostatic Units One of the greatest sources of confusion and error is due to the multitude of units used in electrostatic literature. The system of units used throughout this section is the rationalized MKS, often called Systéme International (SI) units. In this system the mechanical units are the meter, kilogram, and the serond. The unit of force is the newton (N). This system is completed by the addition of the unit of charge, the coulomb (C). The fourth dimension, viz., the coulomb. could also be considered to be the ampere, since one ampere is the flow in a conductor of one coulomb per second. A more complete definition of the coulomb is given in Chap. 4, p. 6-11. The derived
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