Kinetics of flotation. Order of process, rate constant distribution and ultimate recovery
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School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, PR China
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia
Publication date: 2016-11-01
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2017;53(1):342-365
Kinetic models can be used to characterize the flotation process. In this paper, three primary parameters, namely, distribution of flotation rate constant f(K), order of flotation process n and ultimate recovery R∞ are presented to perform analysis of flotation kinetics. The flotation rate constant f(K) is a function of both the size and hydrophobicity of particles. Though the more commonly used distributions are Delta function as well as Rectangular, Kelsall and Gamma models, there is no agreement in the literature as to which distribution function better characterize the floatability distribution. The first-order models can be used to describe most mineral flotation processes, while there is also evidence that the non-integral-order equation is capable of representing the kinetic characteristics of the batch flotation process. The order is lower than 1 in the initial moments of the flotation process. The solution of ultimate recovery calculated by the least squares method is greater than 100% (R∞ >100%). An empirical model was proposed to avoid the improper phenomenon in the solution of ultimate recovery, which can improve the availability and validity of kinetic models. Finally, more attention should be paid to the overfitting resulting from the increase in the number of parameters in the statistical analysis of kinetic models.
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