The effects of froth depth and impeller speed on gas dispersion properties and metallurgical performance of an industrial self-aerated flotation machine
Journal article, 2019
In self-aerated flotation machines, the gas rate depends on operational variables (e.g. froth depth and impeller speed), pulp properties (e.g. solid content and viscosity), and reagent addition (e.g. type and concentration of frother). The gas rate has a strong correlation with the flotation performance by influencing the gas dispersion properties and froth retention time. A factorial experimental design was used to study how the gas dispersion properties, the froth retention time, and the flotation performance respond to changes in froth depth and impeller speed (as the most common operational variables). An in-depth understanding of the effects of impeller speed and froth depth on the gas dispersion properties, especially the bubble surface area flux and froth retention time, is necessary to improve operating strategies for self-aerated flotation machines. All experiments were carried out in a 50 m(3) self-aerated flotation cell in an iron ore processing plant. The results showed that the froth depth affected the metallurgical performance mostly via changing the froth retention time. The impeller speed had two important impacts on the metallurgical performance via varying both the froth retention time and the bubble surface area flux in the froth and pulp zones, respectively. The interaction effects of the froth depth and impeller speed were also established. This allowed us to develop a strategy for operating self-aerated flotation machines based on varying the froth depth and impeller speed with regard to the cell duty.
self-aerated flotation machine
gas dispersion properties