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FLOATATION-CIRCUIT

Feed
Rougher
cell
concentrate
Cleaner cell

Conc.
Re-cleaner
cell

Tailings

Tailings

Scavenger
cell

Final Tailings
(discarded)

Tailings
concentrate

Final
concentrate
Floatation Reagents:a) Collectors:- The function of collectors is to form a thin coating over the particles to be
floated in order to make them air-adherent or hydrophobic. A collector molecule consists of a
polar and non-polar group and the latter is always a hydrocarbon group or a chain. During
floatation the polar group is adsorbed on to the mineral to be floated, while the latter is
oriented outwards and makes the surface of the mineral hydrophobic. The main requirement
of a good collector is that it should be selective in its attachment to minerals.
Collectors extensively used in the floatation of metallic sulphides and native metals are alkyl
di thio carbonates (also known as xanthates) with the structural formulae
SX
RO
S
R
O
C
P
RO
Non-polar
S
SX
Polar
Non polar
Polar
and di thio phosphates (known as aerofloats) where R contains an alkyl group of 2-6 carbon
atoms and X is....... are commonly used colectors for the floatation of oxides and carbonates
(other than sulphides and silicates). Floatation with fatty acids or soaps are known as soap
floatation. The above reagents are known as ionic collectors.
Cationic collectors such as fatty amines and their derivatives are used for the floatation of
quartz and other silicate minerals. Dodecylamine (C 12H25NH2) or dodecylamine hydrochloride
are common collectors belonging to this group. A fatty amine acetate is represented by :H
RN

H .HAc
H

It may be noted that, if the molecule of a collector ionises and its active hydropolar portion
dissociates into a ion, an anion, then the collector is called anaionic type and if it is (+ve) ly
charged, it is known as cationic collectors.

b) Frothers:The main purpose of a frothing agent is to permit the production of a


sufficiently stable froth to hold the floating minerals until they are removed from the
floatation unit. The addition of a frother decreases the surface tension of water and increases
the life of the bubbles produced. The solid particles also form a network around the bubble
and thus help on stbilizing the froth. Frothers can be organic or inorganic. They are heteropolar, with the polar end attaching itself to the water phase and the non-polar end to the gas
phase. They thus consists of one or more hydrocarbon groups attached to one polar group
(usually a group containing oxygen in the form of NH 2 or CN), with the hydrocarbon
radical having more than 5 or 6 carbon atoms. Commonly used frothers are pine oil,
eucalyptus oil, cresylic acid as well as organic acids, alchols and amines. Some chemical such
as oleic acid have the properties of a collector as well as a frother. The proper control
floatation with these.....
c) Modifiers:- The functions of the reagents under this category are different from those of the
collectors and frothers. These are dicreased under different categories such as activators,
depressants, pH- regulators and dispersing agents, areagent may be used to serve a number of
functions differently under different conditions. In several cases the floatation pulp is treated
with these chemicals before the addition of collectors and frothers in oder to achieve
maximum effectiveness. Such an operation is known as conditioning. The modifying agents
may function as activators, depressants, regulators and dispersants.
d) Activators:- certain minerals by themselves are not amenable and floatation. Similarly some
collectors have no effect on some minerals. Hence an activating agent, which is generally an
inorganic compound with its active ion, is added to alter the surface of the minerals so that the
collector may film the mineral and induce floatation.
For example:1) Oxidised ore of Pb and Zn are difficult to float because they are relatively soluble and
thus consists of large amounts of collectors without producing adequate floatation. In
such cases, Na2S which forms a stable and less soluble surface coating on the minerals is
used to reduce collector consumption and simplify floatation problems.
2) Ethyl Xanthate is not a collector for sphalerete. A higher xanthate like cetyl xanthate, is a
collector but more expensive. So, a soluble copper salt like CuSo 4 is generally added to
activate sphalerete and permit floatation with ethyl xanthate. This is common practice in
most the zinc floatation circuits where the Cu metal ions from a more stable sulphide
layer on the sphalerite.
e)

Depressants:- These reagents which can be either organic or inorganic coat the particle
surfaces and maximum them are non floatable (even in the part of a proper collector) is
preventing the floatation of unwanted minerals. If cyanide of Na & K, an effective depresant
of sulphide minerals of Zn & Fe is most commonly used in the depression of sphalerite &
pyrite in separating galena from a complex ore of these minerals. It is also used in depressing
pyrites to remove more valuable chalcopyrite. Another example is to add ZnSo 4 to depress the
ZnS in floating PbS from complex ores. Sodium silicate is extensively used for the depression
of silicates & quartz. Metaphosphates are used as depressants for non-silicates like barytes,
fluorite & calcites.
f) pH regulators:- The pH of an aqueous solution is the negative logarithm of the H + ion
concentration. Neutral solution has a pH of 7 and values below this indicates the acidic and
values above indicates alkaline conditions. The purpose of this variety of reagents which are
both organic and inorganic is to change the pH of the floatation pulp to the required optium
level for operation. The pH of pulp has an important & sometimes very critical controlling

effect on the action of the floatation reagents. Careful adjustment & control of pH enables
selective floatation of complex minerals assemblages like Pb, Zn & fe sulphdes which would
otherwise be difficult. Common pH regulators for creating alkaline conditions are lime, soda
ash & sodium silicates and for creating acid conditions are H 2So4 & HCl.
g) Dispersing agents:- These are used for dispersing the extremely fine minerals like clay
which would otherwise flocculate or absorb on the surfaces of minerals to be floated & make
floatation operations difficult & floatation reagents ineffective. Na 2SiO3 & soluble starch are
some of the reagents commonly used in this practice.

FLOTATION MACHINE
Denver sub- Aeration cell or Fahrenwald or Fagergren or Weinig Cell
All consists essentially of a long trough A transverse divided into a number of compartments of
cells B roughly square in plan & at the centre of each cell, near the bottom, there is an air pump
comprising a rotor C mounted at the lower end of a vertical spindle D and adjacent suitably
confirmed stationary parts(stator) E, and a pipe F surrounding the spindle and extending from above
the froth level to a circular hood at the bottom that spreads to or beyond the periphery of the rotor
circle and comprises the upper part of the stator. Pulp level is indicated by dotted lines L and the side
overflow tip by line o.

At rest, pulp would, of course, stand at the same level inside & outside F. With the impeller
rotating, the pulp beneath E is thrown outward and avoid is created into which atmospheric pressure
drives air. This becomes engulfed in the mailstorm at the impeller & passes with the pulp outwardly
from beneath E. The body of pulp above E is stilled by suitable baffles so that, the rising bubbles
collect at the pulp surface to form a bubble column.

DEWATERING:
1. Thickening:This is a process of concentrating a relatively dilute slimy pulp into a thick
pulp. If solid liquid particles are mixed in a place, and they are kept in such a condition, that
the mixture is not disturbed by any external forces, then the heavier particles will fall faster,
than the lighter one by utilising the gravity, which is called thickening. The equipment in
which it is to be done, is called a thickener.
2. Dorr thickner:- The operation is mainly based on the stokes law of setting of solids. The
separation is usually carried out in thickeners which are circular tanks of larger diameter (330mts) and (2.5-3 mts) in depth. The feed is introduced continuously through a central semisubmerged feed well at a rate that allows the upper surface of solid matter to settle at a safe
distance below the overflow level. Thus the clear water overflows into the top peripheral
launder. The settled solids which have consolidated to the required consistency are swept to
the indicator discharge opening at the centre of the bottom of the tank by a slowly revolving
ranking mechanism attached to the central rotating shaft and then removed either by gravity
or a pump. The feed pulp is usually treated with flocculating agent such as lime, alum and
synthetic organic polymers like separon, aerofloats in order to coagulate to slow settling fine
particles. This increases their settling rate with a consequent increase in the capacity and
efficiency of the thickeners.
3. Filteration:- It is a process of separation of solids from liquids by passing a suspension
through a permeable medium over which the particles retains. In order to obtain a fluid flow
in the filtered medium, a pressure droup has to be applied across the medium. The driving
forces are of 4 types:- 1) gravity, 2) vacuum, 3) Pressure, 4) centrifugal. The different types of
filters are drum filter, cake filter, surface filter, deep bed filter, vacuum filter etc.
Drum Filter:In this operation a compact wet cake is obtained from a pulp of fairly, high content of
solids such as coagulated pulp from a thickener. This is achieved by forcing the pulp through
a porous surface which will allow the water to pass through and cause solids to form a cake in
the filtering surface. The rotating discs and drum filters are the types widely used in the
processing industries. The surface of a filter drum consists of a perforated plate covered with
a filtering cloth and the disc filter consists of a grooved filter leaves or discs covered with
cloth and mounted vertically on a central shaft. Both the filter have the provisions internally
for vaccum application, the flow of filtrate and the blowing of air. These filters are partially
immersed in the slurry and are rotated at low speeds. The vaccum that created causes the filter
cake to form in the sub-merged portion and the filtrate drawn through the cloth is discharged.
As the cake separates from the suspension during the rotation of the filters, compressed air is
blown through and the cake is removed with the help of a knife close to the surface of filter.
This filtering cycle is then repeated and the filter cake is dried either in the atmosphere or in
the driers. Prior to sending it to the smelters or to the market.....

o/s
Cone

Double deck vib.


screen

u/s

Vibrating
o/s

u/s

Ball
mill

Cone
crusher

u/s

Vib. screen

u/s

Hydro
cyclone
o/s
Ball mill

impure

Flotation rougher
cell

u/s

scavenge
r

Flotation cleaner
cell

concentrate

impure
Thickner

Flotation recleaner
cell
o/s

Thickne

Tailings

Residue

Filter

Concentrate

Residue

Grizzley

Filter
Lead
Hydro
Thickner
Ball mill

Jaw
Vibrating
Lead
Gyratory
Filter
Vibrating
Lead
Ball flotation
mill
Thickner
Zinc
Spiral
Cone
crusher

Pyrite

Pyrite
Zinc
Tailings
ZincPyrite
flotation
Spiral
Ball flotation

o/s

20 T/H

10T/H

8 T/H

o/s

o/s

FLOAT

SINK

SINK

+
Sharing

Tromph
Dewateri
heavy media
ng screen

Tromph
Double
deek
heavy
media
Baun
Jig vib.

Roll
crusher
Drag
tank

o/s
u/s

SINK

FLOAT

SINK

FLOAT

Dewatering
screen
Dewateri
ng screen

Thickn
er

Media
Media

Tailing

Centrifug
alDrier

Dewateri
ng screen

Media

Water
recycled
Disc
filter

Media
Middling
s

Washe
dcoal

middlin
gs

Washe
d coal

slurr
y
Slurr
y
Washe
d coal

Washed
coal