• To participate in the 911Metallurgist Forums, be sure to JOINLOGIN
  • Use Add New Topic to ask a New Question/Discussion about Flotation.
  • OR Select a Topic that Interests you.
  • Use Add Reply = to Reply/Participate in a Topic/Discussion (most frequent).
    Using Add Reply allows you to Attach Images or PDF files and provide a more complete input.
  • Use Add Comment = to comment on someone else’s Reply in an already active Topic/Discussion.

Optimize Frother Consumption (10 replies)

Rahil Khan
9 months ago
Rahil Khan 9 months ago

What factors can contribute to high frother consumption in a process?Let me just briefly share with you our process. The plant treats a mixed copper ore of Acid soluble (14 to 20) and AI 80 to 86% in ore. We use a frother which has a mixture of alcohol and polyglycol. We have seen an increase of consumption from 45g/t to 70g/t. Can the change in frother quality contribute to this high consumption?

9 months ago
OberstGruppen 9 months ago

At Fosterville Gold Mine we treat a number of different ore types. One in particular has a high level of carbonaceous material in it. Usually when we treat this we find we need extra frother.

Some years ago we also had problems sericite in our ore which made the froth unstable. Extra frother was needed to deal with this as well.

Jean Rasczak
9 months ago
Jean Rasczak 9 months ago

High flotation densities normally collapse bubble prematurely hence more frother will be required to stabilize the froth bubbles.

Victor Bergman
9 months ago
Victor Bergman 9 months ago

This is what I have observed:

•Lack of understanding on how to dose frothers

•Using the wrong frother for the task

•Poor process control

•Lack of communication with the operators

•Lack of understanding of the flotation chemistry

•Operators don't understand their process (please note that the operators need help to understand their process as their task is to operate and not to analyze operational data. They don't have time to analyze operational data)

9 months ago
Gruppen 9 months ago

Smoke, including Tobacco smoke, entering the flotation air suction is a froth killer! It may not apply in your case but one needs to eliminate all the changes from good froth to bad froth if one wants to understand flotation.

Victor Bergman
9 months ago
Victor Bergman 9 months ago

You made me remember that oil and diesel can also kill the froth, same as water coming from human consumption.

All of these liquids are present in a plant and sometimes they manage to get into the flotation circuit

Ace Levy
9 months ago
Ace Levy 9 months ago

The bubble stability also depends on the pH, it is good to review the type of lime being used.

9 months ago
Hauptsturm 9 months ago

Yes is the answer. Some manufacturers employ PPG to reduce frother consumption. Usually PPG with a molecular weight of approx. 400 is employed. So if the level of PPG is reduced in the blend then frother consumption will most likely increase.

But there are plenty of other things that can cause the frother consumption to increase/decrease, some of which have already been mentioned.

A significant variation in the mix of copper mineralization in your feed, particularly if one copper mineral dominates the system, can lead to an increase/decrease in consumption, and sometimes quite dramatically (i.e. changes in hydrophobicity). The copper minerals Chalcocite, or Digenite have been known to affect frother dosage. The nature of other solids in the froth generally, changes in pulp rheology, process water, grind, mechanical aspects, and the list goes on, can all an impact on consumption.

Another consideration is collector! If there has been a change in mineralization, your collector could be too strong for the purpose. As I don't know much about your ore, or your process it's nigh impossible to provide you with information that might help solve your issue.

John Koenig
9 months ago
John Koenig 9 months ago

Interfering minerals can also drive up frother and collector consumption.

Dizzy Flores
9 months ago
Dizzy Flores 9 months ago

Following up from the above comment regarding operators' actions influencing the frother consumption. From my experience with training operators following things are often done by operators which can lead to increased frother consumption:

•Grinding is producing finer material than before. Tail grade is usually growing in such event and to compensate for that frother addition is increased. More frother, smaller bubbles, better recovery of fine particles.

•Quality, concentration or dose of other reagents has changed. Such as collector, depressant, ph modification. Frother can compensate for some of those but not for all. Usually starts from operators seeing froth disappearing or getting weaker - more collapses or bubbles do not survive over the froth lip. Same happens with inadequate for ore type slurry density or pH.

So, my advice is: interview your operators and ask them, what events in flotation have led them to increase frother dosage.

9 months ago
Subhash-Kumar-Roy 9 months ago

There are a few things in that affect the consumption of the frothers. Frothers help with the stability of the froth.

If you consumption is getting high, perhaps you need to look at the type of Collectors and Modifiers you are using.

I have worked with him several years ago at Emperor Gold Mines, he has extensive knowledge of flotation agents and knows how to fix such problems. He may be able to assist you.

Also the size of bubbles, the type of gangue material the size of the grind the ph of the flotation

can all affect the consumption of frothers.

As others have said above, diesel and oil can be a killer, talk to the operators and see if they have seen these culprits in the flotation plants.

Please join and login to participate and leave a comment.