Introducing key advantages of intensified flotation cells over conventionally used mechanical and column cells
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Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Minerals Processing Division, Mintek, Private Bag X3015, Randburg 2125, South Africa
Department of Mining Engineering, Higher Education Complex of Zarand, Zarand 7761156391, Iran
Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, Faculty of Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Andersens veg 15a, 7031 Trondheim, Norway
Maelgwyn Mineral Services Ltd, Ty Maelgwyn, 1A Gower Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4PA, United Kingdom
Sambrook Metallurgy, 20 Friars Road, Barry Island, Vale of Glamorgan, CF62 5TR, United Kingdom
Ahmad Hassanzadeh   

Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Publication date: 2022-10-03
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2022;58(5):155101
The present paper introduces the key advantages of ImhoflotTM, JamesonTM, and RefluxTM flotation cells over the conventionally used mechanical and column cells from different perspectives. The impact of slurry mean retention time, bubble size distribution, and energy input was studied for all cell types. The mean retention time of laboratory scale ImhoflotTM (V030-cell) and RefluxTM flotation cells (RFC100) were measured experimentally using KCl as a tracer. Also, initially a statistical and practical overview of previously installed ImhoflotTM, and JamesonTM cells was presented in this work. It was found that more industrial data is available for the JamesonTM cell. The diagnostic results showed that RefluxTM, JamesonTM, and ImhoflotTM functionally operate similarly based on providing intensive turbulence in the downcomer. They were initially applied to the Australian and the UK coal industries and installed in the cleaning stage of flotation circuits, while there are now more applications in a wide variety of minerals across the world in different flotation stages. First pilot trials on a Russian gold ore were reported operating both JamesonTM and ImhoflotTM cells at the rougher-scalper and cleaner stages providing superior results using the ImhoflotTM cell as rougher-scalper and the JamesonTM at the cleaner. Formation of sub-micron and micron-sized bubbles, effective hydrodynamic characteristics, and low capital and operating costs were reported as major advantages of intensified flotation cells over the conventionally used ones in improving the recoverability of ultra-fine particles. Literature data showed that these cells provide greater gas-hold-up values (40-60%) over the mechanical (5-20%) and column cells (5-25%) with substantially lower power inputs. It was indicated that low mean slurry retention time could lead to a potential enhancement in their throughputs, but further industrial measurements are required to prove this statement. The RefluxTM cell showed a plug-flow mixing regime, while ImhoflotTM V-Cell followed the trend of perfect mixing and plug-flow dispersion regimes.