Lab experiments using different flotation cell geometries
Sammanfattning: Due to the increasing demand for processing low-grade ores, larger volumes of material are being processed. Therefore, the size of flotation equipment has significantly increased for the past decades. The studies related to scale-up are and will remain to be crucial in terms of designing larger flotation equipment. One of the most important factors for flotation scaling-up is the “flotation rate constant”. Hence, the main aim of this investigation was to understand the scale-up criteria when the size of different laboratory-scale cells increases, using the Outotec GTK LabCell®. This was done by assessing the influence of impeller speed, as a hydrodynamic variable, on the flotation performance. Recovery was found to increase with an increase in the cell area to rotor diameter ratio. Flotation rate and recovery increased with an increase in the impeller speed until a certain point that it eventually decreased for the 2 l and 7.5 l cells. For the 4 l cell, the flotation rate and recovery decreased with increasing the impeller speed. The impeller speed of 1200 rpm allowed a successful scale-up based on the flotation rate constants and recovery when increasing the size of the cells. Maintaining the impeller speeds constant at 1300 rpm increased the flotation rate constants and recovery when increasing the cell size from both the 2 and 4 l cells to the 7.5 l cell. A further increase in the impeller speed to 1400 rpm also produced the flotation rate constants and recovery to increase as the cell size increased from both the 2 and 4 l cells to the 7.5 l cell. However, when increasing the cell size from 2 l to 4 l, good results were also observed for all impeller speeds. The products concentrate seem to become finer when decreasing the cell size, with only a few exceptions. The recovery of particles larger than 38 μm was found to differ considerably less among the different scales.
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