Improved dewatering characteristics of uranium-industry leach pulp using flocculants and surfactants

Rout, T. K. ; Besra, L. ; Prasad, A. R. ; Reddy, P. S. R. ; Sengupta, D. K. ; Singh, B. P.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
The filter cake from the vacuum drum filters of a uranium ore processing plant still contains some leach solution. If the filter cake is not efficiently washed the associated leach solution is lost. Therefore, it is necessary to produce a filter cake that is permeable enough to allow efficient washing. The dewatering characteristics of the solid-liquid system must be improved to obtain flocs with sufficient strength to withstand the suction pressure of the filtration system. To facilitate efficient filtration with minimum cake moisture, studies were undertaken to improve the dewatering characteristics of the cake using different types of flocculants and surfactants. In these studies, flocs were formed with anionic, cationic or nonionic flocculants. The best performance was obtained with a low cationic high molecular weight flocculant. The filtration parameters, namely, capillary suction time, cake resistance, cake permeability and final moisture content of the filter cake, are improved by using a combination of flocculant and nonionic surfactant.
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