Polymer flocculation and coagulation for sedimentation of copper flotation tailings

Peng, F. F. ; Lu, Z.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1999
Employing a combination of two types of polyelcctrolyte might become necessary to enhance both the settling rate of the flocs and the water clarity of a fine-particle suspension in a high-capacity thickening process. The sequence of addition, mixing, type and dosage of polymer all affect the overall performance and capacity of a thickening process. For the sedimentation of copper flotation tailings, the cylinder test results showed that two different techniques may be used to achieve the required performance, i.e., a high settling rate of the flocs and the deisired underflow density and overflow water clarity. The required performance can be achieved by either adjusting the pH prior to anionic polyelectrolvte flocculation or using a combination of polymer flocculant and coagulant (dual-polymer system). The dynamic thickening test results showed that only the approach using a dualpolymer system is capable of meeting the required performance. The effects of polvelectrolvte dosage, the sequence and numbers of polyelectrolyte addition, the feed concentration, the bed level and the rake speed on the settling rate, underflow percent solids and water clarity were studied in cylinder tests and in a laboratory dynamic thickening unit. The dynamic test is especially valuable in evaluating the addition and mixing of polymers. The results were evaluated quantitatively using total suspended solids in supernatant, underflow density and capacity per unit of settling area per unit of time. The objective of this study was to quantify and explain some of the parameters involved in the sedimentation of copper flotation tailings.
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