Fine Bauxite Recovery Using a Plate-Packed Flotation Column
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In this investigation, the fine-grained bauxite ore flotation was conducted in a plate-packed flotation column. This paper evaluated the effects of packing-plates on recovering fine bauxite particles and revealed the fundamental mechanisms. Bubble coalescence and break-up behaviors in the packed and unpacked flotation columns were characterized by combining Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Population Balance Model (PBM) techniques. Flotation experiments showed that packing-plates in the collection zone of a column can improve bauxite flotation performance and increase the smaller bauxite particles recovery. Using packing-plates, the recovery of Al2O3 increased by 2.11%, and the grade of Al2O3 increased by 1.85%. The fraction of −20 μm mineral particles in concentrate increased from 47.31% to 54.79%. CFD simulation results indicated that the packing-plates optimized the bubble distribution characteristics and increased the proportion of microbubbles in the flotation column, which contributed to improving the capture probability of fine bauxite particles.