Froth Flotation (Sulphide & Oxide)

Froth Flotation (Sulphide & Oxide) 2017-04-04T06:57:31+00:00
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Limestone Flotation using Oleic Acid (8 replies and 1 comment)

Alan Carter
1 year ago
Alan Carter 1 year ago

Does anyone know of any commercial operations employing forward flotation of limestone using oleic acid or sodium oleate? I am aware that there are several flotation plants in Europe and North America treating limestone using reverse flotation by amines. However, our testwork shows it is considerably cheaper to use forward flotation in this case due to the reduced reagent cost. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to be something that has been widely applied commerically. Any comments or relevant literature much appreciated.

Bill Rico
1 year ago
Bill Rico 1 year ago

An ex-colleague of mine is a flotation specialist by the name of Alain Kabemba. No guarantees but if anyone would know something, even vaguely, he probably would. He's an independent consultant now.

Marshal Meru
1 year ago
Marshal Meru 1 year ago

You have usually >95% calcite in a commercial limestone. A direct flotation tends to take almost all of your impurities into froth just by entrainment. A separation is possible if you have a very dilute slurry, but this is commercially not viable. At the very high solid contents used in commercial limestone float operations, a direct flotation would result in mass transfer of all impurities as well into froth, just by mechanical entrainment. I am pretty sure that a direct flotation of carbonate with fatty acids is the most obvious solution, that was probably considered even before the idea of inverse flotation turned up.

1 year ago
Gruppen 1 year ago

The latest 40 years in mineral processing have proven to me that target oriented development- and testwork is fundamental in achieving a feasible process solution. The vital targets in any development project are grade, recovery, operation cost and investment cost. Nowadays there are fantastic opportunities to implement product development projects. About froth and flotation - testwork only reveals the feasibility of any flowsheet.

Paul Morrow
1 year ago
Paul Morrow 1 year ago

Oleic acid is a very strong collector. So any other Ca minerals will also be floated as well as ferrous and nonferrous sulphides and oxides. Then it will be very difficult (but possible) to select these mixture obtained as this bulk flotation concentrate.

Sugar Watkins
1 year ago
Sugar Watkins 1 year ago

The selection of the process depends on the task! So far I know only some cement factories run still a direct limestone flotation for extreme poor feed qualities (e.g. to reduce SiO2 from above 30 to below 10%). As the collector ends in the product it is meanwhile a no go for the most other high grade applications.

Alan Carter
1 year ago
Alan Carter 1 year ago

There seems to be a predominant opinion that you have to float the smaller fraction in the feed, i.e. the silicates in this case. However, if one looks at other bulk commodities (e.g. coal) it is possible to float the larger fraction and run very high mass pulls (>60%) provided the circuit and cells have been correctly sized for it. Our testwork (benchscale and pilot) shows that this process can and does work. In the literature, I found several references using oleic acid to produce high grade limestone, however none of the papers showed a commercial operation. I'm not sure if this is just the industry protecting its IP, or whether it genuinely has never been done before.

8 months ago

I have used oleic acid for low grade limestone in industrial scale and got good results also . I operated the plant for > 3 years with oleic acid along with other chemicals. I have worked in froth flotation process of low grade limestone for 7 years . if you have any specific question related to this process. please let me know .

1 year ago
Gruppen 1 year ago

About 1000 tests vs. 5 tests. My personal experience is that commercial test series should be "self orienting"; the first tests will reveal specific properties of an ore type. A predetermined test series should be completed / replaced with new parameter values based on the observations from the first "mapping tests". As for Ca - and other non-metallic minerals; there is an old handbook - type of technical bulletin Nr. TB 108 of Department of Energy, Mines and Resources Mines Branch OTTAWA; R.A. Wyman, "The floatability of twenty-one non-metallic minerals", Jan 1969, which gives good ideas for parameters to be tested. Though an old study, the results are still fully valid! Today's advantage is that compared with 1969, there is a number of new collectors, modifiers and depressants available, which makes testing even more attracting!

As we all know, commercially used methods are for example to flotate apatite from calcite - dolomite matrix using tall oil fatty acid or calcite from a silicatic matrix. Everything depends on dosage and collector - modifier - depressant combination. It is one of the best events of a metallurgist to finally find such a combination and witness the "boof" when a loose, almost monomineralic froth gushes over the froth lip!

I have the same experience; there is literature available in the net to a certain border, where after one has to try to do the testwork oneself, buy consultancy or get information from friends etc. The articles and publications in the net are often basic research oriented proving the level and skills of the author = a kind of commercial. Explanation is very clear; who would give the results of expensive and heavy work for nothing?

For these reasons, there is a need for a group of non-commercial seniors, who would give advices free or by own-cost principle, thus promoting and speeding up research, industrial projects and development work at operating plants. Industrial experience of the seniors often has not been recorded at all. This is a sad loss for the mineral industries.

The same is valid in project implementations including such stages as site plan development, unit process design, logistics, plant layouts, taking into account the needs of each discipline etc.

Mr. Nanda kishore
8 months ago
Mr. Nanda kishore 8 months ago
1 like by David

If the limestone grade is almost high and contains above 90% CaCO3, then in direct flotation more reagent is required for collecting all limestone mineral. But if u r not concern about reagent cost, the no problem.

Yes u can use oleic acid as a collector and sodium silicate is depressant for silicate minerals. 

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