Non-Sulfide Flotation : Principles and Practice

Jordan, T. S. ; El-Shall, Hassan ; Zucker, G. L.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 40
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
INTRODUCTION This chapter will discuss, both from fundamental and practical points of view, the flotation of non-sulfide min- eral s. The flotation characteristics of silicates, salt-type minerals, oxides and coal will be reviewed. Dup- lication of the thorough and excellent presentations by many authors is not intended and a comprehensive list of references is included. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Collectors for Non-Sulfide Minerals : All minerals, with only a few exceptions are readily wetted by water, that is, they are said to be hydrophilic. The purpose of a collector is to coat the mineral surface and render it hydrophobic, preferring an environment of air over an environment of water. Relative to sulphide minerals, the non- sulfides are more naturally hydrophilic and therefore, require a collector with a greater chain length. This is accomplished by using a collector which has a proportionally longer hydrocarbon chain. Both anionic and cationic flotation collectors are used in non- sulfide flotation. Anionic Collectors. These are collectors which ionize in solution to give a negatively charged radical. They have the general structure R-A, where R is a hydrocarbon having 8 or more carbon atoms and A is a hydrogen or an alkali metal. The most common collectors in this group are fatty acids which could have saturated or unsaturated hydrocarbon chains. Such chains may be straight or branched. The configuration of the chains affects their solubility in water and their adsorption characteristics. In general, as the chain length increases the adsorption and the collecting power increases. However, it should be noted that the solubility decreases. The solubility of unsaturated chains is greater than that of saturated fatty acids because double or triple bonds are polar and thus attract water molecules. Solubility data for collector metal salts, even though important for a proper understanding of flotation are not available for all collector systems. Solubilities and structures of different fatty acids are reported by Fuerstenau (1982). Values for the solubility products of fatty acid salts selected from a paper by Du Rietz (1958) are given in Table 1.
Full Article Download:
(1396 kb)