Ultrafine coal flotation by gas phase transport of atomized reagents

Misra, M. ; Anazia, I.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
The dispersion of oily collector has a significant effect on the flotation recovery of ultrafine coal. Generally, reagent dispersion is accomplished by mechanical mixing and/or ultrasonic agitation, followed by direct addition of dispersed collector into the flotation cell. Such dispersion and reagent addition techniques are invariably inadequate and nonselective. A new collector addition technique involving gas phase transport of atomized collector has shown improved results when compared to conventional reagent addition techniques. This technique involves atomization of the collector into the air stream. Under these circumstances, an aerosol is introduced into the flotation cell. Initially, the oil is dispersed within the air phase (continuous with respect to oil), and the air phase is dispersed within the pulp (continuous with respect to aerosol). In the flotation cell, the atomized oil droplets coalesce on the bubble's surface and create a de facto oil-encapsulated bubble. This approach provides excellent dispersion, increases selectivity, and, most significantly, increases the flotation rate of ultrafine coal. Atomization of collector/frother combinations yielded improved flotation recovery and maintained near uniform froth levels, which is a desirable feature in coal flotation. Microscopic examinations of the attachment of oil- coated bubbles at a coal surface were conducted by attachment time and contact angle measurements. Oil-coated bubbles attach at significantly faster rates and with a higher contact angle than oil-free bubbles.
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