Effect of swelling clay dispersion type on fine coal flotation
Wei Yu 1
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School of Environmental Science & Spatial Informatics, China University of Mining & Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
National Engineering Research Centre of Coal Preparation and Purification, China University of Mining & Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
Mingqing Zhang   

University of mining and technology, Daxue Road 1, Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China, 221116 Xuzhou, China
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2019;55(2):380–388
The influence of bentonite dispersion on fine coal flotation was examined to better understand the role of swelling clay in the process of flotation. It was found that the coal flotation recovery was lower with uncontrolled dispersion of bentonite than with controlled dispersion. The detrimental effect was attributed to the increase in slime coating. In the uncontrolled dispersion, the dispersed bentonite platelets formed an extensive card-house structure. The three-dimensional networks increased the slurry viscosity, and caused significant coating of the coal particles, thereby inhibiting particle mobility and bubble-particle attachment. In the controlled dispersion, the bentonite mineral appeared as separate particles with low aspect ratios. The coal particles were partially coated, and the slurry viscosity was lower, resulting in higher flotation recovery. The findings in this study suggested that a practical solution to mitigate the negative impact of swelling clay on flotation would be to maintain high electrolyte levels in the wash water to inhibit clay swelling and dispersion.