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Minerals 2018, 8(10), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8100450

Application of Depletion Attraction in Mineral Flotation: II. Effects of Depletant Concentration

1
Department of Mineral Resources and Energy Engineering, Chonbuk National University, 567 Baekje-daero, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 54896, Korea
2
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Seoul National University of Science & Technology, 232 Gongneung-ro, Nowon-gu, Seoul 01811, Korea
3
U.S. Salinity Laboratory, USDA, ARS, Riverside, CA 92507, USA
4
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon 305-701, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 1 October 2018 / Accepted: 10 October 2018 / Published: 14 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Processing and Metallurgy)
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Abstract

Along with the accompanying theory article, we experimentally investigate the effect of the depletion attraction force on the flotation of malachite. While varying the concentration of the depletion agent (polyethylene glycol), three different systems are studied: pure malachite, pure silica and a 1:1 mass ratio of malachite and silica binary system. We find that the recovery increases significantly as the concentration of the depletion reagents increases for all three systems. However, the recovery suddenly decreases in a certain concentration range, which corresponds to the onset of the decreased surface tension when high concentrations of the depletion agent are used. The decreased surface tension of the air/water interface suggests that the recovery rate is lowered due to the adsorption of the depletion agent to the bubble surface, acting as a polymer brush. We also perform experiments in the presence of a small amount of a collector, sodium oleate. An extremely small amount of the collector (10−10–10−5 M) leads to the increase in the overall recovery, which eventually reaches nearly 100 percent. Nevertheless, the grade worsens as the depletant provides the force to silica particles as well as target malachite particles. View Full-Text
Keywords: flotation; malachite; silica; binary mixture; depletion attraction; PEG flotation; malachite; silica; binary mixture; depletion attraction; PEG
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kim, G.; Choi, J.; Choi, S.; Kim, K.; Han, Y.; Bradford, S.A.; Choi, S.Q.; Kim, H. Application of Depletion Attraction in Mineral Flotation: II. Effects of Depletant Concentration. Minerals 2018, 8, 450.

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