THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW MEASURING APPARATUS FOR ANALYSING THE LIQUID PHASE WILL ENABLE THE FLOTATION PROCESS TO BE MONITORED MORE EFFECTIVELY, WITH CONSEQUENT INCREASES IN METAL RECOVERY, REDUCED REAGENT COSTS AND BETTER CONTROL OF LIQUID EFFLUENT.
The aim of the research was to develop new sensors for flotation based on the following 2 techniques:
double pulse normal voltametry;
dielectric methods with high frequency (the study ofthe evolution of reagents absorbed on solid surfaces whose rate determines flotation efficiency).
The study compared the 2 methods with respect to the activation of sphalerite by cooper ions.
The polarographic method showed that when up to 900 g/t of copper was added in the form of copper sulphate, it was adsorbed on the ore without the appearance of an equivalent quantity of zinc ions. When more than 900 g/t of copper sulphate was added, copper in excess stayed in solution without adsorption on the ore. This method permitted characterization of the final state, but, as copper adsorption was very fast, it was not possible to use this method to follow the adsorption of copper ions on sphalerite and consequently to follow the flotation.
With the dielectric method it was possible to follow the adsorption and the desorption of the copper ions and sulphar ions and collectors on surfaces of pure minerals (sphalerite, malachite).
Measurement of the dielectric constants of the initial nonconductor sphalerite, during addition of copper ions, permitted activation of the sphalerite to be followed.
The dielectric method showed the increase in conductivity of the malachite when sulphur ions were added. It permitted determination of the necessary amount of sulphur to added in order to realize full activation of malachite. In this case, industrial application is easier because most of the malachite ores do not contain conductor minerals which could interfere with the measurement of activation.
TO ENABLE FLOTATION CONTROL SYSTEMS TO BE DEVELOPED, THE PARAMETERS FOR ANALYSING BOTH THE SOLID PHASE AND THE LIQUID PHASE NEED TO BE KNOWN. EQUIPMENT IS ALREADY AVAILABLE FOR THE SOLID PHASE, BUT THERE IS NO LOW-COST APPARATUS USABLE ON-LINE FOR THE LIQUID PHASE. THIS RESEARCH PROJECT AIMS TO DEVELOP THE APPARATUS AND ITS APPLICATIONS.
IT CONSISTS OF THE FOLLOWING PHASES:
1.- SAMPLE DISPLAY METHODOLOGY
2.- MEASUREMANT METHODOLOGY
3.- APPLICATION OF THE METHODOLOGY AND INTERPRETATION OF MEASUREMENTS
4.- DEVELOPMENT OF A MONITORING METHOD.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts