The effect of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose on the entrainment of zoisite in flotation
Zhengjun Zhang 1,   Leming Ou 1  
,   Saizhen Jin 1,   Hao Zhou 1
 
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School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Leming Ou   

School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Publication date: 2021-01-14
 
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2021;57(2):34–48
 
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ABSTRACT
During flotation, fine gangue minerals can enter the concentrate through mechanical entrainment, which seriously affects the quality of concentrate. In this work, the effect of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) on the flotation performance of zoisite, a silicate mineral, was studied. The role of CMC in reducing zoisite entrainment was investigated by dynamic foaming tests, surface tension measurements, rheology measurements, sedimentation tests, and optical microscopy experiments. The flotation results showed that zoisite mainly entered the concentrate by entrainment; the addition of low dosages of CMC decreased zoisite entrainment and efficiently separated cassiterite from zoisite; moreover, the concentrate grade and recovery of SnO2 increased by 1.27 % and 5.63 %, respectively, by using CMC in closed-circuit flotation tests. Dynamic foaming studies on the two-phase and three-phase foam/froth revealed that the presence of CMC decreased the froth ability and froth stability, and greatly altered the three-phase froth structure. Basically, the bubbles in the foam were larger after adding CMC. For the two-phase foam, the change of foam property had little to do with surface activity and bulk viscosity. For the three-phase froth, the froth property was strongly affected by the interaction of CMC and zoisite. The results of the sedimentation test and microscopy experiment demonstrated that CMC can cause zoisite to flocculate and enlarge the particle size, which was the main reason for the decrease of froth stability and entrainment. This study indicates that the side effects of depressants should not be overlooked when discussing the role of depressants in flotation.
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