Effect of pH value on effectiveness of biopolymer-based treatment of bauxite mine slurry
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Guilin University of Technology
Chinese Academy of Sciences Wuhan Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics
Publication date: 2023-06-14
Corresponding author
Changfu Wei   

Chinese Academy of Sciences Wuhan Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2023;59(3):167949
Effective dehydration and flocculation of mine slurries or sludge is important for nonferrous metal industries and environmental engineering. However, the mechanisms for the flocculation of slurry remain largely unclear. This paper presents the results of a series of flocculation tests, which was conducted on the slurry suspensions treated by xanthan gum (flocculant) at different pH values. It is shown that the settlement rate of mine slurry particles can be accelerated by adding xanthan gum, and the maximum sedimentation rate was obtained at a pH value of 5.9, and the final volume of flocs is significantly increased due to the addition of the flocculant. In addition, the settlement rates of xanthan gum-treated slurry suspensions at the pH values of 3, 5 and 7 decrease slightly compared with the reference slurry suspensions with pH=5.9, and the slurries remained stable as suspensions at the pH value of 9 and 11. The zeta potential measurement and SEM image analysis show that flocculation occurs primarily due to electrostatic attraction between slurry particles and the flocculants, and the bridging effect between the carboxylic groups in the side chains of xanthan gum molecule and the suspension particles.
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