Technology of superconducting magnetic separation in mineral and environmental processing

Gillet, G.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
The conventional magnetic separators used in the mineral industry are equipped with traditional magnetic circuits or with permanent magnets (rare earth). However, when processing minerals with low magnetic susceptibilities or minerals of very small particle size, these separators are inefficient. In addition, a conventional magnetic circuit consumes considerable amounts of electricity to generate a relatively low magnetic field (~2 Tesla). The equipment is also heavy and bulky. Only a separator having a superconducting sole-noid can contribute in solving most of the problems, and only such a separator can produce high magnetic fields with low energy consumption. New developments and the experience acquired in using these superconducting magnets have resulted in new uses for magnetic separation, especially in the environmental area. This paper presents and describes a separation system that uses superconducting magnets that are completely automated and able to treat raw materials (concentration or purification) or liquid industrial effluents containing heavy metals in solution. Several industrial sectors, including the surface treatment, petroleum and chemical industries, are generating effluents containing heavy metal ions. The main metal ions found in such effluents include zinc, copper and vanadium. The purification of such effluents by magnetic separation is performed by adding a certain proportion of iron salts. The treated effluent passes through a superconducting separator where the flocs are retained in a matrix of steel wires. The efficiency of supraconducting high-gradient magnetic separation (HGMS) by this method exceeds 95%. Mineral separation and industrial-waste purification results are presented.
Full Article Download:
(491 kb)