The Influence of Froth Height in Column Flotation of Kaolin Ore: An Advance Study
The froth height, particle entrainment, and particle drainage all affect recovery and grade in froth flotation. The froth phase’s goal is to transport all of the hydrophobic particles that reach the pulp/froth interface into the floated phase and to drain the hydrophilic particles into the pulp. The effect of froth height on the recovery of iron, titanium, and manganese oxides by entrainment and true flotation of kaolinitic ore was investigated in this study (FeO, TiO2 and MnO). The effect of particle size on the drainage process was also investigated. A successful flotation process involves minimizing entrainment while increasing true flotation. The recovery of the three oxides by entrainment and true flotation is inversely proportional to the froth height. Because entrained particles are not attached to the bubbles, they drain more easily in the froth phase than floated particles. For the three oxides, the recovery by entrainment and drainage of the entrained material is similar. The recovery by true flotation and drainage of the floated material, however, differs between the three oxides. The finest fraction has a lower froth zone recovery in the three oxides for true flotation. Because of the minor contribution of its hydrophobic minerals, FeO has the lowest recovery value, whereas MnO has the highest recovery value. For the entrained material, the finest fraction (25 m) is more easily entrained, but it is also more easily drained, implying greater particle mobility in the froth zone. The finest fraction (25 m) is drained easier than the two intermediate fractions (+25-45 m and +45-63 m), indicating greater mobility of these particles in the froth; however, the coarsest fraction (>63 m) is drained easier than the two intermediate fractions (+25-45 m and +45-63 m), indicating weaker attachment of the larger particles to the bubbles.
Author (S) Details
Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra, Geosciences Center, 3030-790 Coimbra, Portugal.
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