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Article

Ultrafast Plug Flow Agglomeration—Exploiting Hydrophobic Interactions Via a Concentrated Water-In-Oil Emulsion Binder

Centre for Advanced Particle Processing and Transport, Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
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Minerals 2020, 10(6), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10060506
Received: 17 April 2020 / Revised: 27 May 2020 / Accepted: 27 May 2020 / Published: 31 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interfacial Forces in Mineral Processing)
The selective agglomeration of a fine coal tailings stream using a high internal phase emulsion binder was investigated using a continuous steady-state plug flow through a high shear constriction. The emulsion binder effectively switches off the viscous resistance to particle–binder collision and adhesion, revealing the remarkable underlying speed of hydrophobic interactions. The emulsion binder is permeable, meaning the lubrication force between the particle and binder vanishes. The binder comprised a 95% aqueous solution dispersed within a 5% organic liquid (including the emulsifier). The agglomeration occurred within a high shear zone formed using a flow constriction within a 25 mm diameter pipe. The performance of the process was investigated at different flowrates in the range of 20–128 L/min, equating to extraordinarily high superficial flow velocities of up to 4.2 m/s and pressure drops in the range of 20–220 kPa. This rate greatly exceeds the nominal superficial feed velocity in flotation of order 0.01 m/s. Provided there was sufficient shear within the flow constriction, it was possible to process fine coal tailings with a feed ash of 50.1%, and generate a product ash of 8% at a combustible recovery of ~78%. View Full-Text
Keywords: oil agglomeration; coal tailings; beneficiation; water-in-oil emulsion; binder oil agglomeration; coal tailings; beneficiation; water-in-oil emulsion; binder
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MDPI and ACS Style

van Netten, K.; Borrow, D.J.; Galvin, K.P. Ultrafast Plug Flow Agglomeration—Exploiting Hydrophobic Interactions Via a Concentrated Water-In-Oil Emulsion Binder. Minerals 2020, 10, 506. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10060506

AMA Style

van Netten K, Borrow DJ, Galvin KP. Ultrafast Plug Flow Agglomeration—Exploiting Hydrophobic Interactions Via a Concentrated Water-In-Oil Emulsion Binder. Minerals. 2020; 10(6):506. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10060506

Chicago/Turabian Style

van Netten, Kim, Daniel J. Borrow, and Kevin P. Galvin. 2020. "Ultrafast Plug Flow Agglomeration—Exploiting Hydrophobic Interactions Via a Concentrated Water-In-Oil Emulsion Binder" Minerals 10, no. 6: 506. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10060506

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