FloccFines - Flocculation of fine particles in mineral flotation of copper-lead-zinc sulphide ores

Reference number
Coordinator RISE RESEARCH INSTITUTES OF SWEDEN AB - SP Kemi, material och ytor, Stockholm
Funding from Vinnova SEK 500 000
Project duration September 2016 - March 2017
Status Completed
Venture The strategic innovation programme for mining and metal recovery – STRIM

Purpose and goal

There are several industrial advantages with a cost and time effective way to evaluate new flocculants in mineral flotation. The main objective of this project was therefore to demonstrate an effective approach to identify potential flocculants for selective flocculation of hydrophilic mineral fine particles. The approach used is based on using a combination of techniques, with focus on measuring interaction forces between hydrophilic mineral surfaces, combined with both flocculation tests of mineral fines and surface chemical characterization for increased understanding.

Expected results and effects

In this project, AFM was evaluated to measure interaction forces between hydrophilic minerals (with adsorbed depressant). Results show that interaction forces can be measured, but the system is not robust enough to add flocculants in a next step, so further method development is needed. In addition, a procedure on how to perform flocculation tests of fine hydrophilic PbS particles was developed. The procedure was optimized for several parameters with the aim to keep the hydrophilic fines in dispersion long enough before settling, to be able to detect the effect when add flocculants.

Planned approach and implementation

The project included 7 work packages. The aims of WP1-2 were to select materials and study literature. In WP3 preparation tests and characterization of samples were performed. The procedure on how to perform flocculation tests of fine hydrophilic PbS particles was developed in WP3. Different materials to use in the AFM were tested to get adsorption of depressant. Since the AFM system under the chosen conditions was not robust enough, even with a lot of efforts, the planned work with flocculants in WP4-6 could not be performed. The project results were summarized at the final meeting (WP7).

The project description has been provided by the project members themselves and the text has not been looked at by our editors.

Last updated 25 November 2019

Reference number 2016-02625

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