Coal Preparation » Fine Coal
The objective of this project was to develop a new test to determine the ultimate flotation response curve. The current method for doing so is known as a Tree Analysis Test and is covered by Australian Standard 4156.2.2 - 1998(1).
The effect of collector concentration, frother concentration, froth depth, solids concentration, cell residence time, air velocity, wash water rate, impeller type, impeller speed, and wash water distribution method were investigated. The results obtained were compared to the Tree Analysis method.
The main advantages of this new method are the ability to create a deep froth, and the ability to apply wash water to the froth. The test is performed by column flotation in a single pass.
Results achieved show similarities with the current Tree Analysis Test. However the main objective of creating a better test to determine the Ultimate Flotation Response Curve has not been definitively proven. Some good points have come of this work though. It was found that under certain conditions this test returned mass yields of up to 4% greater for the same ash than predicted by the Tree Analysis Test. These results may be in a similar region to those of an operating plant who often operate above the Tree Analysis yield/ash curve. Further work comprising a comparison between this method and an operating plant's results is required to determine if this is the case.
Experimental results are presented and discussed in detail, and a comprehensive error analysis of the results was performed showing that on average experimental error was only 1.8%. This was deemed acceptable and showed that reproducibility of data was possible.