Development of Methods to Aid in Flotation Circuit Evaluations and Drip Pan Design

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Virginia Tech


Field assessments were performed to establish the performance capabilities of a new flotation technology for fine coal upgrading, known as StackCell flotation. Flotation release analysis was performed on all samples to determine the amount of hydrophilic material present in the streams around the flotation cell. Data from this work supported recommendations from the equipment manufacturer that the wash water distribution system should be changed to a drip pan and that the design of the slurry-air distributor from the mixing chamber should be altered. The experimental data showed that as froth depth, rotor speed, and wash water rate changed, the performance of the cell followed expected trends with respect to product quality, but diverged from expected trends with respect to carbon recovery and yield. Other work performed includes the development of a new carbon partitioning test, which uses a blender to provide a high shear environment and uses oil to partition the slurry into a carbon rich oil phase and an ash rich pulp phase. This test is capable of producing results comparable to those of a traditional release analysis. Lastly, a spreadsheet program was developed that can aid users in designing drip pans. This program is capable of producing custom designs or unit cell designs. A study of the effect that plate thickness has on flow rate was performed in order to develop a model for flow through an orifice plate. The results of this work showed that plate thickness has little to no effect on the flow rate.



water distributors, flotation machines, coal flotation, release analysis