Blog: Measuring density in the flotation process (2/4)
Posted on Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 15:57
Instruments, such as density meters help operators to efficiently monitor and control the flotation process, optimize it and prevent process failures. There are multiple reasons for measuring density in the flotation process, which could differ per application.
In the first blog we described the purposes and benefits of measuring density at different applications in froth flotation. In this second blog, you can read the second and third (of five) key reasons for measuring density in the flotation process.
Pulp and froth phases
The effect of flotation feed density on metallurgical performance has been investigated. Results of test work have shown that the pulp density affects key parameters of the flotation process in both the pulp and froth phases (Runge et al, 2012). One of the findings was that froth phase recovery presumably improves because of a stabilising effect due to a greater loading of solids on bubble surfaces. Additional research should be done to determine the optimum feed for a particular operation.
Particle size plays a crucial role for the enrichment of ore in the flotation process. The flotation operator wants to prevent middlings (product which is neither clean mineral product nor reject/tailings). These middle size particles consist of minerals and gangue. The gangue can only be separated from the valuable minerals in the flotation cells when the particles were grinded fine enough in previous stages.
Real-time density measurement can help to verify changes in the slurry from the grinding circuit to the flotation cells. The slurry density has a high correlation with particle size, therefore the operator could use this parameter (together with other variables) to improve the control over the process.
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