There is often considerable variation in the flotation performance of phosphate ores. There is also variation in the phosphate ore feed quality from day to day, shift to shift, and even from dragline to dragline. This study was conducted in order to determine the role of the feed variability in causing the difficulties in achieving target beneficiation with available reagents and conditions schemes. The variability of the feed can be attributed to bulk mineralogy of feed, particle size and degree of liberation of the phosphate minerals from the feed upon grinding, physicochemical properties of the phosphates minerals which dictates the optimum interaction of reagents for beneficiation. Towards identifying the critical problems, various surface and bulk characterization methodology was used: XRD analysis to obtain mineralogical properties of the liberated phosphate minerals, adsorption of reagents on the phosphate feed, zeta-potential to obtain surface charge characteristics, FTIR to identify the interaction mechanisms with reagents. It was observed that the variability in the feed was primarily due to the following factors: association of phosphate minerals with different types of silicates in varying proportions; existence of silanol groups on some of the liberated phosphate particles; presence of organic phase with some of the phosphate samples.
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 III: Phosphate Encapsulation/Liberation Studies
Hassan El-Shall, University of Florida with P. Somasundaran, Somasundaran, Inc. April 2010.