Saturday, 28 September 2013

The effect of water quality on flotation

As water resources become scarcer and society’s demands to reduce freshwater extraction have increased, mine sites have been increasing water reuse and accessing multiple water sources for mineral processing to save freshwater, particularly in froth flotation. Implementation of either strategy may lead to water quality variation that may impact flotation efficiency. In general, flotation is most effectively undertaken with clean water. As a second preference, metallurgists seek a consistent water quality so that reagent regimes for flotation can be developed and applied consistently. Variation in water quality is undesirable because it could complicate operating conditions and compromise flotation performance. This is all discussed in an excellent review of the effect of water quality on flotation, published in Minerals Engineering, by researchers at the Sustainable Minerals Institute of the University of Queensland.
More and more flotation plants have to use groundwater, sea water and recycle water with a high concentration of electrolytes. Despite a number of studies that have been conducted to investigate the effect of saline water on mineral flotation, effective ways to solve many problems encountered in mineral flotation plants using saline water are not currently available. Other University of Queensland researchers will present a review at Flotation ’13 of published articles addressing the effect of saline water on the interfacial phenomena taking place in the flotation process, such as surface wettability, bubble-particle collision and attachment, mineral particle interactions and frothing. They will provide an overall picture of current status of studies in this area and pinpoint directions of future researches addressing different problems associated with using saline water in mineral flotation.

Flotation '13 is only seven weeks away now.  The updated timetable can be viewed here, and the current list of delegates registered here.


  1. I like this article as I sometimes use different sources of water which could also be impacting the flotation process either negatively or positively. I am sure there is need for me to evaluate the impact of the quality of water now that you have mentioned this.
    Chawo Nkhoma, Concentrator Manager

  2. My below article was published by Elsevier quite time ago. It is really nice to see its current validity :

    Ozkan S.G., Acar A., "Investigation Of Impact Of Water Type On Borate Ore Flotation", WATER RESEARCH, vol.38, no.7, pp.1773-1778, 2004
    Safak Gokhan Ozkan, Turkey

  3. Would anyone like to share impact of Water Quality in coal flotation through personal experiences /papers/reports/test works etc. ?
    PR RAY

  4. recently did my phd on water quality

  5. Kurniawan, A.U., Ozdemir, O., Nguyen, A.V., Ofori, P. and Firth, B., (2011). “Flotation of
    coal particles in MgCl2, NaCl, and NaClO3 solutions in the absence and presence of
    Dowfroth 250”, International Journal of Mineral Processing, 98(3-4), p.137-144. DOI: 10.1016/j.minpro.2010.11.003

    Ofori, P., Firth, B., Franks, G., Nguyen, A.V. and Jameson, G., (2005). “Impact of Saline Water on Coal Flotation”, Report C13051, Australian Coal Association, Australia.

    Wang, B., Peng, Y. and Vink, S., (2013). “Diagnosis of the Surface Chemistry Effects on Fine Coal Flotation Using Saline Water”, Energy Fuels, 27(8), p. 4869-4874. DOI: 10.1021/ef400909r
    Peter Marteene, Metallurgical Plant Attendant, Xstrata Zinc

  6. Please anyone cal share the use of saline water in phosphate flotation


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