Discrimination of Six Flotation Kinetic Models Used in the Conventional Flotation and Carrier Flotation of -74 μm Coal Fines
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In this study, experimental results of conventional flotation and carrier flotation were characterized by six commonly used flotation kinetic models. Two statistical criteria (coefficient of determination, R-2, and root mean square error, RMSE) were used for comparison of fitting performance of different models. All kinetic models tested gave good levels of goodness of fit, but the second-order model with rectangular distribution (model 6) provided the best fitting performance for the experimental data of conventional flotation and carrier flotation. On this basis, two parameters, that is, modified flotation rate constant (K-m) and selectivity index (SI), were used to evaluate the difference in flotation separation selectivity between conventional flotation and carrier flotation. Comparisons of K-m and SI values indicated that carrier flotation significantly improved the flotation rate constant of combustible materials and flotation separation selectivity of ultrafine coal (-74 mu m). In addition, measurements of average bubble size and water recovery indicated that both the coalescence of bubbles and the drainage of liquid in the froth were promoted when coarse coal particles (contact angle >90 degrees) were employed as the carrier to assist the flotation recovery of ultrafine particles, which in turn favored the inhibition effect of the entrainment of gangue materials in carrier flotation compared to conventional flotation.