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Dynamics of particle attachment in a model stirred cell: A new technique to characterize and quantify particle floatability

Eftekhari, M.; Schwarzenberger, K.; Schlereth, P.; Eckert, K.

Abstract

Floatability evaluation is critical to predicting flotation results and designing a flotation flowsheet. Laboratory-scale flotation cells are commonly used to study particle floatability, but differences in cell design and governing hydrodynamics make extrapolation to industrial scale operations difficult.
In this work, a new experimental approach based on particle attachment dynamics is proposed to evaluate particle floatability. This method allows precise control of hydrodynamic conditions, visualization of attachment processes, and direct observation of the bubble surfaces. It is therefore ideal for studying attachment dynamics as a function of collector concentration, particle size and concentration, and propeller speed. In addition, it opens the possibility for future studies of the packing density of the particles at the interface and their selective attachment. By evaluating the time-dependent surface coverage as a function of bubble residence time, we illustrate its ability to predict flotation kinetics within a flotation cell. This innovative technique provides a faster, more versatile means of studying particle floatability and attachment dynamics with practical implications for flotation cell optimization.

Keywords: Floatability; Stirred cell; Particle-bubble interactions; Dynamic surface coverage; Flotation kinetics

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Permalink: https://www.hzdr.de/publications/Publ-38871