Powder Technology 213 (2011) 41–47

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Powder Technology
j o u r n a l h o m e p a g e : w w w. e l s ev i e r. c o m / l o c a t e / p ow t e c

Does calcite content affect its separation from celestite by Falcon concentrator?
A.A. El-Midany a,⁎, S.S. Ibrahim b
a b

Mining, Petroleum, and Metallurgy Dept., Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Egypt Central Metallurgical R&D Institute (CMRDI), P.O. Box 87, Helwan, Egypt

a r t i c l e

i n f o

a b s t r a c t
Calcite is the main gangue mineral in the most of celestite ores. The interlocking between two minerals (i.e., calcite and celestite) differs according to their formation conditions. Such interlocking implies fine grinding to achieve a good liberation and thus use physical separation techniques. As fine grinding is needed, then the recovery of fine particles becomes a challenge. However, the enhanced gravity concentrators are one of the recent developments that offer solutions for the separation by gravity at fine size ranges. Falcon device is a famous example of such concentrators. In this study, the upgrading of fine celestite ore (− 80 μm) was tested using Falcon device in terms of bowl speed and fluidization water pressure. In addition, the role of calcite content in the ore was investigated using design of experiments under different conditions of centrifugal speed, fluidization water pressure, and calcite content. Thus, pure samples of celestite and calcite were used to prepare mixtures at different celestite to calcite ratios to simulate the most of celestite ores. The results showed that the calcite content plays a significant role especially at low centrifugal speed and fluidization water pressure where the best results can be achieved. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 13 April 2011 Received in revised form 2 July 2011 Accepted 5 July 2011 Available online 19 July 2011 Keywords: Celestite fines Calcite Centrifugal force field Falcon separator Enhanced gravity separation

1. Introduction Gravity separation is proven to have several advantages over the other mineral processing techniques due to its high efficiency, low capital and operating costs, no chemicals, and consequently no environmental concerns [1]. However, in most cases, the efficiency of these techniques depends to large extent on the texture of the ore and the associated impurities type and quantity, [2]. The gravity separation is one of the most common techniques for celestite–calcite separation [3]. A combination of jigging and shaking table or spiral were used to upgrade celestite at coarse sizes [4–7]. However, high interlocking between valuable and gangue minerals leads to relatively low efficiency and high-grade tailings as well as limited recovery of fine particles which represents the main disadvantage of the conventional gravity separators [2,6]. Recently, the development of “Enhanced Gravity Concentrators”, that utilizes the extremely high gravitational forces, can improve the efficiency of fine particles recovery and enable the recovery of ultrafine liberated particles [8–10]. Eventually, up-grading of Zagros celestite ore using Mozley multigravity separator produce a good grade with low recovery up to 40% [11]. In another attempt, upgrading of Barit Maden Turk celestite ore of a grade of 75% SrSO4 using Mozley multi-gravity separator produces

a concentrate of grade 94% SrSO4 with a recovery 87% at the optimum parameters of separation [12,13]. On the other hand, Falcon device represents another type of enhanced gravity concentrators. It can be described as a fluid-bed centrifuge which uses a spinning bowl design to generate a force of up to 300 g's, thereby, allowing lower gravity cut points at relatively high throughput capacities. The Falcon is designed to separate and concentrate relatively fine particles, typically finer than 100 μm, according to differences in specific gravity [14,15]. Despite the abovementioned characteristics, the selection of appropriate operating conditions for different ores is crucially affecting their separation results [16–19]. Therefore, in this paper, the SB40 Falcon device was used for upgrading celestite ore at fine sizes (below 80 μm), where a reasonable liberation can be achieved. Moreover, the effect of the device operating variables namely; centrifugal field and flushing water pressure were evaluated. Furthermore, the effect of gangue mineral content was also evaluated. Therefore, the pure samples of calcite and celestite were prepared to investigate the effect of the operating variables in the presence of different calcite content using statistical design of experiments (DOE). The interaction between the investigated parameters was also highlighted. 2. Experimental 2.1. Materials

⁎ Corresponding author. Tel.: + 20 2 35678526; fax: + 20 2 35723486. E-mail address: aelmidany@gmail.com (A.A. El-Midany). 0032-5910/$ – see front matter © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.powtec.2011.07.003

Celestite ore from Eastern Desert, Egypt, was used in this study. According to the ore mineralogy, fine grinding was required to obtain

42

A.A. El-Midany, S.S. Ibrahim / Powder Technology 213 (2011) 41–47

Table 1 Rotatable central composite design levels for 3 variables. Levels Variables Motor frequency, Hz Water pressure, psi Calcite, % − 1.68 3 2 2.5 −1 20 4 12 0 45 7 26 +1 70 10 40 + 1.68 87 12 50

a reasonable liberation. More than 90% liberation degree was achieved by grinding to – 80 μm [6,7]. On the other hand, pure samples of celestite and calcite were prepared. Pure celestite particles were obtained from celestite ore by jigging followed by acid leaching of the jig concentrate to remove any calcite and iron impurities. The pure calcite sample from Samalut locality, Egypt was subjected to crushing and grinding followed by sampling to produce – 80 μm fractions. Several celestite–calcite mixtures were prepared using pure samples to achieve samples with 12, 26, 40% calcite content. 2.2. Methods 2.2.1. Chemical and XRD analysis Complete chemical analysis of the original ore sample was conducted using “Perkin-Elmer Analyst 200” atomic absorption unit. Original sample phase analysis was recorded by X-ray diffractometer model “PW 1010”. The calcite content in the separated products was determined by Loss-on-Ignition, (L.O.I.). 2.2.2. Falcon separator Falcon centrifugal concentrator, Model SB40, was used to upgrade celestite ore at feed particle size of – 80 μm. Fluidization water is introduced into the bowl (concentrate cone) through a series of fluidization holes at the top of its wall. Feed slurry is then introduced through the stationary feed tube at the bowl center and into the concentrate cone. When the slurry reaches the bottom of the cone it is forced outward and up the cone wall under the influence of

centrifugal force. During the course of the separation, tailings flow out the top of the cone into the tailings launder. After finishing the separation process, concentrates are flushed from the cone into the concentrate launder. The tail and concentrate are settled, collected, dried, weighed and chemically analyzed. In all tests, the solids feed rate of 12 kg/h, 10% solids and 2 l/min water flowrate were used. The selection of these values depends on reducing the interaction as well as the mechanical entrapment between the particles that appears at high solids %. Thus, the effect of calcite content can be clearly identified. 2.2.3. Statistical evaluation A central composite design (CCD), [20] was used to investigate the effects of calcite content, bowl speed and fluidization water pressure. According to this design, [21], the number of treatment combinations is 2 k + 2 k + no where ‘k’ is the number of independent variables and n0 the number of repetitions of the experiments at the center point. For 3 variables, the design contains 17 experiments including the center point repetitions. The levels of each variable were given in Table 1. For each run, the loss-on-ignition (LOI) was determined as an indicator for calcite. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) tables were generated and the effect and regression coefficients were determined. The significance of all terms were judged statistically by computing the F-test within 95% confidence interval using Stat-Ease software. 3. Results and discussion 3.1. Sample characterization Chemical analysis of celestite (SrSO4) ore after grinding to − 80 μm indicated that it contains about 60% celestite (33.86 SrO%) and N39% calcite. X-ray diffraction analysis of the sample showed that the celestite and calcite are the main ore phases, Fig. 1. In addition, the chemical analyses as well as the specific gravity of the pure samples used in this study were given in Table 2.

Celestite (SrSO4) Calcite (CaCO3)

Fig. 1. XRD of − 80 μm celestite ore sample.

A.A. El-Midany, S.S. Ibrahim / Powder Technology 213 (2011) 41–47 Table 2 Characterization of pure samples. Mineral Celestite Calcite Constituent SrO (SrSO4) CaO L.O.I. % 56.2 (99.6) 55.74 43.53 Specific gravity 3.9 2.7 Table 4 Effect of motor frequency at 2 psi fluidization water. Motor frequency, Hz 10 20 Products wt.% SrO% Assay C T C T C T C T C T C T Total 50.60 49.40 57.40 42.60 66.80 33.20 66.60 33.40 67.60 32.40 88.00 12.00 100.00 43.90 24.64 42.66 23.65 39.64 23.81 39.80 23.59 39.61 23.49 35.72 24.60 34.39

43

Recovery 64.60 35.40 70.85 29.15 77.02 22.98 77.08 22.92 77.86 22.14 91.41 8.59 100.00

On the other hand, the particle size is one of the main factors affecting any process. Therefore, the −80 μm feed was divided into fractions by Cyclosizer. The produced fractions are shown in Table 3. It is worth to mention that the same size distribution was prepared from pure samples to simulate the ore. 3.2. Falcon separation Two sets of experiments were conducted. The first set includes testing the amenability of the celestite ore (−80 μm) separation under different conditions of motor frequency and fluidization water pressure. The second set involves the experimental design runs on the pure samples of calcite and celestite to investigate the effect of calcite content on the calcite-celestite separation by Falcon. 3.2.1. Effect of motor frequency Tests were conducted on the celestite ore (−80 μm) at bowl speeds ranging from 10 to 70 Hz. The results of the bowl speed variation, through changing the motor frequency, at fixed water pressure (2 psi), are given in Table 4. It is clear that raising motor frequency increases celestite recovery from 64.6 to 91.4%. On the other hand, the increase in the centrifugal force decreases the concentrate grade from 43.9 to 35.72% SrO (77.8 to 63.3% SrSO4). It is clear that a change in the bowl speed affects the device performance. At low bowl speed, the rate of heavy particles stratification is low which gives a chance for the light particles (calcite) to dilute/to displace the heavier ones (celestite). In other words, only a small amount of celestite passing through the fluidizing region goes to overflow (tailing launder). With increasing the bowl speed, the heavy particles are likely to stratify quickly before entering the fluidization zone. This stratification increases the packing of particles which makes the drag force exerted by fluidizing water is not enough to disturb the stratified particles and to release the entrapped gangue mineral, i.e., calcite and consequently reduce the upgrading results. As a result, the lower recovery and the high grade were observed at lower bowl speeds. Therefore, the best conditions for the celestite–calcite system using the Falcon device, as indicated in Table 4, are at the lower bowl speeds (10 Hz). 3.2.2. Effect of fluidization water pressure The solid particles move outwards relative to the water towards the bowl periphery and encounter the fluidizing water that enters through the orifices in the bowl periphery. The fluidization water exerts a drag force on the solid particles when they reach the fluidization zone. The effectiveness of the fluidizing water appears when the fluid drag force assists the heavy particles (celestite) to displace the light particles (calcite) and reduces the mechanical
Table 3 Size analysis of the − 80 μm fraction. Particle size, μm + 34 + 27 + 17 + 12 +9 −9 Total wt.% 30.91 24.76 16.35 11.10 5.70 11.18 100.00

30 40 50 60

entrapment between celestite and calcite. Hence, the high-density particles can be retained in the retention zone and collected in the concentrate fraction. The effect of fluidization water pressure on grade and recovery of celestite ore was investigated. The results of changing the fluidization water pressure, at 20 Hz motor frequency, are given in Table 5. Despite changing the water pressure (from 1 to 5 psi) increased the concentrate grade from 42.5 to 47% SrO, it significantly reduced the concentrate recovery from 70 to 18%. It is worth mentioning that both grade and recovery of the calcite (in terms of LOI) were negatively impacted by increasing the water pressure. The increase of celestite concentrate, at high water pressure, can be attributed to the increase of the effect of the drag force, especially on dense particles, which helps on rearrangement of the particles stratification. In addition, the mechanical entrapment of calcite into celestite, in retention zone, was diminished and cleaner concentrate was obtained. However, the lower recovery of celestite at high water pressure can be referred to incomplete stratification of particles at such relatively low bowl speed (20 Hz) which leads to escaping of celestite with the calcite tails in the overflow. This incomplete stratification can also explain the limited celestite grade in the concentrate. Above certain values of water pressure, the grade starts to decline due to the introduction of high velocity regime that overcomes the centrifugal forces, mixes the particles together and disturbs the particle stratification. Therefore the interaction between the bowl speed and the water pressure was studied in the next paragraphs using statistical design. 3.2.3. Effect of main parameters on the celestite separation The statistical design was used to study the effect of the main operating parameters; i.e., motor frequency (bowl speed) and washing water pressure, on the separation by Falcon. Additionally, calcite content in the feed was taken as a variable; i.e., changes from 12 to 40%, to cover the most of the probable percentage range of
Table 5 Effect of fluidization water at 20 Hz motor frequency. Fluidization water, psi 1 3 5 7 Products wt.% Assay% SrO C T C T C T C T Total 56.80 43.20 31.20 68.80 13.20 86.80 16.60 83.40 100.00 42.47 23.76 45.20 29.48 46.90 32.48 46.10 32.06 34.39 LOI 10.89 25.47 8.76 21.01 7.43 18.67 8.06 19.01 17.19 Recovery% SrO 70.15 29.85 41.01 58.99 18.01 81.99 22.25 77.75 100.00 LOI 35.98 64.02 15.90 84.10 5.71 94.29 7.78 92.22 100.00

44 Table 6 Results of the CCD experimental runs. Test Factors Water Motor frequency, pressure, psi Hz 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 20 70 20 70 20 70 20 70 3 87 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 4 4 10 10 4 4 10 10 7 7 2 12 7 7 7 7 7 Responses Calcite Conc., % wt.% 12 12 12 12 40 40 40 40 26 26 26 26 2.5 50 26 26 26 12.96 100.00 28.70 100.00 11.30 99.79 9.28 96.40 42.56 100.00 83.00 47.72 100.00 96.83 93.33 93.40 92.95

A.A. El-Midany, S.S. Ibrahim / Powder Technology 213 (2011) 41–47

(a)
10.00

Calcite ratio %
94

5.2 12 6.11 12 18.48 16.48 16.1 15.07 5.36 26 9.68 6.72 1.55 18.07 8 7.95 8.3

43.37 100.0 50.95 100.0 46.2 41.2 40.22 37.67 20.63 100.0 37.23 25.87 61.82 36.14 30.77 30.6 31.91

5.62 100.0 14.61 100.0 5.22 41.11 37.35 36.31 8.77 100.0 30.90 12.34 61.82 34.96 28.69 28.70 28.75

Water Pressure, psi

Calcite % Calcite Calcite in conc. ratio, % recovered % in conc.

8.50

7.00

44 34

54

64

74

84

5.50

4.00 20.0 32.5 45.0 57.5 70.0

Motor Frequency, Hz

(b)
10.00

Calcite ratio %

Water Pressure, psi

Water Pressure, psi

calcite mineral associated with celestite ores. A mixture of pure fractions of celestite and calcite was prepared to fulfill the required valuable mineral to gangue percentages. Table 6 shows the results of the statistical design experimental runs. It was noticed that there are three runs (i.e., 2, 4 and 10), where no separation was achieved (the concentrate wt.% and its calcite % were 100%). On the other hand, runs (9 and 12) represent the lowest calcite content in the concentrate which was 20% and 25%, respectively. In other words, the calcite removal, in tests 9 and 12, reaches about 75–80%. It is worth mentioning that the best results achieved, run 9, can be attributed to the lower centrifugal speed and moderate water pressure where the drag force can overcome the centrifugal forces and consequently reduces the celestite–calcite entrapment. Comparing the operating conditions of runs 9 and 12 indicates that although run 12 has a higher centrifugal force that leads to quick stratification of both calcite and celestite, it has higher water pressure which compensates the centrifugal force causing the loosening of the stratified bed and release of the entrapped calcite particles to the tail fraction; therefore, high calcite removal was obtained. On the other hand, the analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that bowl speed and calcite content are significant model terms. Standard deviation and R-Squared within 95% confidence interval are:
Response Calcite ratio, % Calcite remaining (recovered) in Concentrate % Standard deviation 11.2 8.28 R-squared 0.91 0.97

8.50

7.00
25

30

35

45

55

5.50

4.00 20.0 32.5 45.0 57.5 70.0

Motor Frequency, Hz

(c)
10.00

Calcite ratio %

8.50
25

7.00
35

35

5.50
30

4.00 20.0 32.5 45.0 57.5 70.0

3.2.4. Statistical significance of studied parameters The calcite mineral is the main gangue mineral in the celestite ores. Its percent varies from ore to another. In the most cases, fine grinding is needed to achieve a reasonable degree of liberation. Therefore, the calcite-celestite separation was tested using Falcon separator. Figs. 2– 4 show the effect of studied parameters, at different calcite content, on the separation results. Fig. 2 shows the effect of studied parameters on the calcite ratio (Calcite ratio (%) is the calcite in the concentrate to the calcite in the feed). The lower the calcite ratio the cleaner the concentrate. It was noticed that the calcite ratio increased with increasing the bowl speed. In addition, the graph shows almost parallel lines that indicates the water pressure has insignificant effect on the calcite ratio. It is worth mentioning that the point of the lowest calcite ratio (about b 25%) was found to move diagonally by changing

Motor Frequency, Hz
Fig. 2. Effect of calcite content at different water pressure and motor speed. (a – calcite 12%, b – calcite 26%, c – calcite 40%).

calcite content from 12 to 40%, Fig. 2(a–c) and Fig. 3. It is clear that the increase of bowl speed deteriorates the concentrate grade due to the influence of the centrifugal forces on both calcite and celestite. The quick stratification of both minerals leads to packing of the particles as well as the entrapment of the calcite particle in the concentrate. In this case, the fluidization water pressure helps in dilating the bed and reducing such entrapment. Consequently, the higher the motor frequency (bowl speed) the higher the water pressure needed. In other words, when the calcite content in the feed changed from 12 to

A.A. El-Midany, S.S. Ibrahim / Powder Technology 213 (2011) 41–47
10

45

(a)
10.00
y = 0.091x + 5.5015 R2 = 0.9868

Calcite Recovered in Conc., %

Water Pressure, psi

9

Calcite content increases

7

Water Pressure, psi

8

8.50

7.00

15

25

40

55

70

85

6

Exp Linear (Exp)

5.50
99 7

5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45

Motor Frequency, Hz
Fig. 3. Correlation between motor frequency and water pressure to obtain calcite ratio of 25%.
4.00 20.00 32.50 45.00 57.50 70.00

Motor Frequency, Hz

40%, the motor frequency and the water pressure varied from 20 Hz and 6 psi to 45 Hz and 9.5 psi, respectively. The calcite–celestite separation seems different at high calcite content, Fig. 2c. It is interesting to notice that the water pressure is more effective at higher calcite content (i.e., the higher the calcite content is the higher the calcite entrapment into celestite bed). Increasing the bowl speed increases the need for higher water pressure. Further increase in bowl speed, at certain water pressure, leads to the deterioration of calcite removal as a result of calcitecelestite entrapment due to the presence of the unbalanced forces; i.e., the effect of centrifugal force is larger than the effect of water pressure, affecting the particles movement as well as their separation in the Falcon device. It is also deduced from Fig. 2 b–c that although the calcite content increases from 26 to 40%, the minimum calcite ratio can not get lower than 25%. It is worth to mention that the minimum calcite ratio (maximum calcite removal – about 75%) appears to follow a linear relationship between the motor frequency and the water pressure, Fig. 3. Although the calcite ratio gave an indication about the concentration behaviour at different calcite content, the recovery gives more accurate separation results. Fig. 4 shows the calcite remaining (recovered) in the concentrate in terms of the studied parameters. It is clear that the higher calcite removal, about N95%, was found to be at 26% calcite content and lower levels of bowl speed and water pressure, Fig. 4b. This behaviour can be attributed to the tendency of the heavy particle to stratify first followed by the lighter particles. At high bowl speeds, the light particles were displaced with heavier particles of smaller sizes. The heavy particles of smaller sizes tends to force the lighter particles to the centre of the bowl which facilitate their overflow with water stream. It is worth to mention that the movement of particles of different sizes from lower part to the upper part of the stratified particles bed leads to the reduction of the separation selectivity. The good grade, at lower water pressures, indicates the effectiveness of the drag force especially on the small sizes of light particles. Thus, inconsistent concentrate grade was obtained at high water pressure and lower to moderate bowl speeds, Fig. 4c. Moreover, the high water pressure and lower bowl speed results in creation of a certain degree of a turbulence which can be avoided at their lower levels. At highest bowl speed, the turbulence problem disappeared and the shape of the curve returns as in Fig. 4 a&b due to the change of the flow pattern inside the Falcon as a result of very high centrifugal forces. In brief, the centrifugal forces play an important role in the stratification of particles especially high-density particles even of smaller sizes. In this case of high bowl speed, the stratification will pack the particle into bed (from the bowl wall to it centre) in the following sequence: heavier particles of larger sizes – heavier particles of smaller sizes – lighter particles of larger sizes – lighter

(b)
10.00

Calcite Recovered in Conc., %

Water Pressure, psi

8.50

40

55

7.00

15

25

5.50
7

63

4.00 20.00 32.50 45.00 57.50 70.00

Motor Frequency, Hz

(c)
10.00

Calcite Recovered in Conc., %
30 25

Water Pressure, psi

8.50

25

7.00

30

42

5.50

20

15

4.00 20.00 32.50 45.00 57.50 70.00

Motor Frequency, Hz
Fig. 4. Calcite recovered in the concentrate as a function of water pressure and centrifugal speed (a – calcite 12%, b – calcite 26%, c – calcite 40%).

particles of smaller sizes. When such a stratification reaches the fluidization zone, the water pressure controls the passage of the particles to the overflow. In other words, if the drag force exceeds the centrifugal force the stratified bed will be looser and allow the light particles to pass to overflow keeping the dense particles in the retention zone, while, if the centrifugal forces overcome the drag force, the particles (even light ones) will be entrapped in the retention zone and collected with the concentrate fraction. Moreover, the summary of the design results, Fig. 5, indicated that the highest calcite removal was observed at lower values of bowl

46

A.A. El-Midany, S.S. Ibrahim / Powder Technology 213 (2011) 41–47

Calcite Remaining.% in Conc. 31.27 37.52

(a) 12% calcite
Interaction Graph
Calcite amount remaining in Conc.
112
Water pressure, psi

B+ Water pressure, psi

11.81

90.48

85

58

14.52

43.69

C+

Calcite % CA+

32
B+ B-

BA-

4.19

105.76

Motor Frequency, Hz
Fig. 5. Cube graph of the effect of the studied factors on the calcite recovered in the concentrate (standard deviation = 8.28 and R-squared = 0.97).

5 20.0 32.5 45.0 57.5 70.0

Motor Frequency, Hz

3.2.5. Interaction between studied parameters One of the important features of the statistical designs is taking the interaction between the variables into account. The intersection between the lines in the interaction plot indicates a strong interaction. At the interaction point no difference on the response between the low and high levels of the studied factor. Fig. 6 represents the interaction plot between the effects of bowl speed, water pressure and calcite content on the calcite % in the concentrate. It is noticed that the slope of the curves is higher at lower calcite content, Fig. 6a–b. It is clear that the water pressure insignificantly affects the calcite amount in the concentrate. The water pressure becomes more effective with increasing the calcite content in the feed (40% calcite content), Fig. 6c. On the other hand, the recovered calcite in the concentrate increases with increasing the motor frequency. By increasing the calcite content in the feed, it is also obvious that the interaction point moves right with increasing the motor frequency which can be explained by several mechanisms: (1) the change in the flow regime due to the higher centrifugal forces that smoothen the flow inside the separating bowl, (2) the change in the stratification sequence and the increase of the mechanical entrapment due to the higher content of lighter particles, (3) the centrifugal forces exceeds the drag forces leading to formation of a compact stratified-bed. Similarly, Fig. 7 represents the interaction plot for the effects of the motor frequency and the calcite content in the feed at high and low levels of water pressure. An interaction between them was observed at high calcite content. The interaction becomes more significant with increasing the water pressure. Despite, the motor frequency is insignificant, at both 4 and 10 psi water pressure; it has a great effect on the recovered calcite in the concentrate at its high level (70 Hz). Moreover, the effect of motor speed decreases with increasing the calcite content. This finding can be attributed to, at high motor speed, the rapid stratification as well as the formation of packed bed of alternated layer of celestite and calcite, due to the absence of very close size distribution, makes the dispersion and separation of the calcite from celestite seems difficult under assigned water pressure, Fig. 7a. Increasing the water pressure to 10 psi slightly improves the concentrate grade. However, increasing the water pressure at higher values deteriorates the concentrate grade (see Fig. 4a). 4. Conclusions The separation of calcite from celestite ores was investigated using Falcon device at fine size range (below 80 μm). Preliminary tests on

Calcite amount remaining in Conc.

speed and highest values of washing water pressure especially at highest calcite content. The calcite content as low as 4% can be reached in the concentrate.

(b) 26% calcite
Interaction Graph
98
Water pressure, psi

73

49

24
B+

-0

B-

20.0

32.5

45.0

57.5

70.0

Motor Frequency, Hz

(c) 40% calcite
Interaction Graph Calcite amount remaining in Conc.
98
Water pressure, psi

75

52

28 B+

B-

5 20.0 32.5 45.0 57.5 70.0

Motor Frequency, Hz
Fig. 6. Interaction plots for water pressure and bowl speed at different calcite amount (B− and B+ represent the low and high levels of water pressure).

the celestite ore indicated that the bowl speed affects the celestite recovery while the washing water pressure affects the grade by reducing the calcite particles entrapment in the celestite concentrate. Additionally, it is found the interaction between the bowl speed and the washing water pressure is very important. Therefore, the statistical design of experiments was used to run several tests on pure samples to avoid the complexity of the ore as well as to cover

A.A. El-Midany, S.S. Ibrahim / Powder Technology 213 (2011) 41–47

47

(a) water pressure, 4 psi
Interaction Graph
126
Motro Frequency, Hz

Calcite Remaining.% in Conc.

A+

94

significant role in determining the Falcon device operating conditions. In addition, the interaction between the motor speed and the water pressure greatly affects the concentrate grade. Moreover, the design results showed that more than 95% of the calcite was removed at low level of bowl speed and mid points of washing water pressure and calcite content. A concentrate, contains as low as 4% calcite, was obtained.

61

References
29
A-

-3 12.00 19.00 26.00 33.00 40.00

Calcite amount in the feed

(b) water pressure, 10 psi
Interaction Graph
110
Motro Frequency, Hz

A+

83

57

31
A-

5 12.00 19.00 26.00 33.00 40.00

Calcite amount in the feed
Fig. 7. Interaction plots for calcite amount in the feed and motor frequency at high and low levels of water pressure (A− and A+ represent the low and high levels of motor frequency).

range of celestite ores with different calcite content. The design factors are motor frequency, washing water pressure and calcite content in the feed. The responses of such design were the concentrate grade and recovery in terms of calcite ratio and calcite recovered in the concentrate. The design indicated that although the centrifugal force is the most dominant factor, the calcite % plays a

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Calcite Remaining.% in Conc.