Recovery of Phosphate Minerals from Plant Tailings Using Direct Froth Flotation

2017 Minerals  
The wastes produced from phosphate industry presents many challenges due to the economic and environmental impacts of their disposal. In the meantime, scarcity of highgrade phosphate ores persuades researchers to find novel methods of upgrading these wastes (secondary sources) and recycling them in the production plant circuit. The goal of this study is to investigate the potential to upgrade the phosphorus content in the tailing produced from a phosphorous production plant using direct froth
more » ... sing direct froth flotation process. Characterization studies such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and mineral liberation analysis (MLA) were first conducted to identify the mineralogical and morphological characteristics as well as grain liberation and locking for a better understanding of the behavior of the flotation feed. It is important to mention that this research primarily discusses the role of reagents rather than other operational parameters. For this purpose, bench scale flotation tests were carried out using a Denver flotation cell in the presence of different reagents. These reagents include sodium silicate which is a commercially-used gangue dispersant and in-house synthesized novel gangue depressant, Hy-PAM. Moreover, several influencing parameters such as solid contents of the flotation pulp, pulp pH and pulp residence time were investigated to optimize the flotation outcomes in terms of the recovery and the grade of the concentrate products. Studies using a dual dispersant/depressant system, at a specific mass ratio, were also conducted to figure out if the synergy could improve the overall flotation performance. Results indicated that the phosphorus content in the plant tailings can be upgraded by> 3% at > 70% recovery. iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
doi:10.3390/min7080145 fatcat:nv62chte2bas7b27cxu4xbkktm