Phosphate flotation has been used by industry for more than a half century but still faces many technical challenges. Such challenges include not only the selection of the chemical reagents but the characteristics of the feed itself. This report deals with the investigation of feed characteristics and how these characteristics affect the flotation separation efficiency of feed material from a particular phosphate operation, specifically why some feed, from the same mine, is efficiently separated with high recovery (good feed) while other feed is more difficult to separate (bad feed). The study was conducted using both traditional analytical techniques and more advanced techniques such as X-ray microtomography. The results reveal that bad feed is highly porous, coarser in size, and, most significantly, exhibits a lower degree of liberation. Such bad feed was inefficiently separated by fatty acid flotation and improved recovery would require controlled grinding in order to improve the extent of liberation.
Effect of Particle Characteristics on Fatty Acid Flotation of Florida Phosphate Rock.
FIPR Publication No. 02-173-236
Volume I: Project Summary
Volume II: Sample Collection, Flotation Results, and Diagnostic/Remediation Protocol
Volume IV: Fundamental Studies
Hassan El-Shall, University of Florida; Jan D. Miller, C.L. Lin, M. I. Al-Wakeel, J. Nalaskowski, L. Hupka, and O. Ozdemir, University of Utah. April 2010.