Flotation - Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff
|Flotation cell in the Freiberg Laboratory|
|Photo: HZDR/Frank Schinski|
Flotation is one of the most important separation processes. It separates fine-grained particles as a function of their surface wettability. During flotation, solid particles are finely distributed in a liquid that contains surface active molecules and specific ions. Gas bubbles, which are dispersed in the liquid, attach to these particles and form particle-bubble agglomerates. Due to their lower density the agglomerates rise to the liquid surface and result in a froth layer. The procedure is also known as froth flotation.
The Processing Department carries out fundamental flotation research in order to more effectively separate valuable from gangue minerals and thus enrich the maximum of targeted minerals.