Rem: Revista Escola de Minas
Print version ISSN 0370-4467
RODRIGUES, Wendel Johnson and LEAL FILHO, Laurindo Salles. Importance of hydrodynamics in coarse particle flotation kinetics. Rem: Rev. Esc. Minas [online]. 2010, vol.63, n.4, pp. 615-620. ISSN 0370-4467. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0370-44672010000400003.
The processes that govern the rate of particle recovery in a flotation cell include the following sub-processes: collision, attachment, and stability of the aggregate formed by particles and bubbles. Collision is controlled by bulk hydrodynamics inside the flotation cell, while attachment is largely dominated by variables that belong to the domain of surface chemistry (contact angle, induction time). As for the stability of the particle/bubble aggregate, its efficiency depends on both hydrodynamics plus surface chemistry variables of the system. The flotation recovery of coarse particles of apatite and glass spheres was measured by micro-flotation and batch flotation tests in which hydrodynamic parameters were evaluated, such as impeller rotational speed, diameter, and geometry, as well as particle size and density. Results revealed that a proper impeller rotational speed yielded turbulence levels, which enabled to keep particles fully suspended, this way optimizing the collision efficiency between particles and bubbles, without jeopardizing the stability of the particle-bubble aggregates.
Keywords : Flotation; turbulence; suspension; particle size; velocity.