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How Collector Usage Affect Froth Flotation Process

2019-09-12(15:03:55) 3529 2

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Flotation agents are agents used in the mineral flotation process that can adjust the surface properties of minerals and increase or decrease mineral floatability,which makes ore pulp properties and foam stability more conducive to mineral separation. The collector,a type of organic substance that can selectively act on the surface of minerals to make the mineral particles hydrophobic.The use of collector has a great impact on the flotation process, and we will take a look at it from the following 4 aspects.

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flotation agent-collector

Collector Types

There are four common types of collectors: sulfhydryl collectors (thio compounds), hydrocarbyl oxyacids (hydroxyl groups),hydrocarbyl amines, and hydrocarbon oils. 

  • Sulfhydryl collectors are xanthate, black catching agent, mercaptan and so on. They can be used for froth flotation of common metal sulfide and oxidized minerals after vulcanization treatment.

  • Hydrocarbon containing oxy-containing acids are common collectors, such asoleic acid, oxidized paraffin soap, etc., which can be used for flotation of tungstenand tin, rare metals, copper oxide minerals, silicate minerals and othernon-sulfide minerals.

  • Hydrocarbon amine collectors can be used for flotation ofquartz, aluminosilicate ore and other soluble salt minerals.

  • Hydrocarbon oilsare commonly used to trap coal and other naturally hydrophobic minerals.

Among the 4 kinds, sulfhydryl collectors and hydrocarbyl oxy-containing acid collectors are all anionic organic compounds, hydrocarbyl amine collectors are cationic organic compounds, and hydrocarbon oils are non-polar organic compounds. In terms of dosage control,the reactions between different collectors and mineral surface are different,and there are generally three types of reactions: physical adsorption, chemical adsorption and surface chemical reaction. In other words, the adsorption of collectors is closely related to the flotation process selection of minerals.

Take iron ore as an example, the main minerals of iron ore Ganges silicate, the flotation of iron ore is mainly divided into two processes, cationic collector reverse flotation and anionic collector positive flotation, cationic collector is mainly aliphatic amine, and anionic collector is mainly hydrocarbon containing oxygen acid. Therefore, the choice of positive flotation, reverse flotation, preferential flotation or mixed flotation mainly depends on the nature of the ore and the selected collector.

Collector Dosage 

The amount of collector is one of the key factors affecting flotation recovery.Usually, in the certain concentration range, with the increase of drug concentration, adsorption is on the rise, the flotation recovery increase significantly, after reach a certain concentration, adsorption and recovery rate rise slow, high concentration, adsorption capacity, though still continue to increase, but the flotation recovery rate is on the decline, so in control when the dosage of collector to grasp in the right concentration range, in order to obtain good results. 

Dosing Point

Different charging points will affect the effectiveness of flotation agents. For collectors, changing charging points of collectors can also affect the recovery of ores. Take a gold mine as an example. In the original process, the ammonium butanium black catching agent was added into the slurry mixing tank before flotation, and the time of interaction between the agent and slurry was not enough, resulting in the loss of the agent and affecting the flotation effect. After the test, adding ammonium butadiene black into the grading pump pool, the rate and recovery of crude refined minerals were increased by 0.63% and 0.93% respectively. In addition, for some hard to dissolve collector, can be added before grinding, in order to achieve the ideal effect. Therefore, the adding point selection of the collector should be determined according to the reaction speed between the collector and the ore.

Dosing Way

At the way of dosing, there are two ways to add once and batch. Once added, the concentration of agents in the local higher, strong action, easy to add. Batch addition, also known as point-by-point addition, can maintain uniform concentrations in the flotation line. Generally, collectors are added after inhibitors or activators, and for agents such as xanthines (easily oxidized), oleic acids, and aliphatic amines (easily removed by foam), the batch method is better for flotation.


To sum up, in the use of the collector flotation reagents, the factors to consider include ore properties, the dosage rate curve, the nature of the collector. Such as, in different collector to choose different flotation process, of course, in order to obtain better flotation effect, the better choice is to take a beneficiation test to determine appropriate collector. 

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