Coal Preparation

Evaluation of Residual Frother from Column Flotation Circuits

Coal Preparation » Fine Coal

Published: May 99Project Number: C6045

Get ReportAuthor: Anne Lahey, Chris Clarkson | C Clarkson and Associates

The major objectives of this project were to develop a technique for measurement of residual frother in plant streams and to determine the mechanisms by which residual frother is adsorbed and transported through the plant circuits.

The current trend in coal flotation is towards installation of the newer, high intensity, column-style flotation cells, typified by the Microcel and Jameson Cell, for the combined treatment of the full fines fraction. Considerable test work and plant experience to date has shown that, in order to maximise efficiency with these deeper froths, the Microcels and Jameson Cells require higher levels of frother than the conventional flotation circuits (ACARP Project C5050). Since the plant water circuits are fully integrated, the residual frother levels compromise the performance of other parts of the circuit, in particular the dense medium circuit and density gauges, sumps, pumps, and the thickener and clarifier.

The operating philosophies (with respect to frother dosing) for the Jameson Cells at BHP Coal Goonyella and Riverside preparation plants, where test work for a previous ACARP Project C5050 was conducted, are discussed. These show how the plants are constrained by excess or residual frother depending on how their various circuits are integrated.

A simple, standard test that is suitable for use in the plant environment was developed to estimate the concentration of frother in plant water and slurry streams. The technique is based on the measurement of the height of froth formed in the slurry, which is related to the amount of residual frother that it contains. Initial attempts to use a household blender as the test vessel failed due to the lack of reproducibility. The use of a Denver laboratory flotation machine was more successful, as it allowed greater control over the aeration and agitation of the slurry. Test work at Riverside clearly showed that the froth test was able to identify realistic MIBC concentrations in plant streams with changes in both feed type and frother addition. The results indicated a 1 to 2 hour plant response to changing the frother dosage, which correlated with the estimated residence times of the plant circuits.

Early test work indicated that there was significant adsorption of MIBC by fine coal solids. Laboratory trials were conducted jointly with the flotation group from the CSIRO Division of Energy Technology to measure the adsorption rate of MIBC. This work indicated that up to 80% of the MIBC is adsorbed onto the coal (removed from the liquid phase) within 10-15 minutes in a stirred environment. The adsorption rate was observed to be much slower without agitation. When the solids from the adsorption study were removed (by centrifugation) from the slurries and re-mixed with fresh water, analysis of the resultant solutions indicated that no desorption of MIBC from the coal occurred.

A program was undertaken jointly with the flotation group from the CSIRO Division of Energy Technology to better understand the partitioning of frother in a pilot scale Jameson Cell at their Catherine Hill Bay pilot plant facility. The detection of less MIBC in the concentrate and tailings streams together was evidence that a significant amount of frother is removed from the liquid phase via adsorption by the coal solids.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C19024Establishing Ecologically Sustainable Mine Water Release Criteria In Seasonally Flowing Streams

Extreme rainfall conditions in the Fitzroy Catchment over an approxi...

C25030Coal Mine Open Pit Final Void Closure And Relinquishment - Addressing Uncertainty In Coal Mine Environmental Planning

This report addresses uncertainties faced by coal mine operators whe...

C27046Estimation Of True Deformation Vector From Slope Radar Monitoring

Slope deformation radar monitors are now widely used in open cut coa...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C27004Improving Coal Flotation With Oscillatory Air Supply

This report provides detailed information on coal flotation with os...

C25018Improving Solids Recovery And Moisture Reduction In Ultrafine Coal Dewatering

This report provides detailed information on fine coal dewatering in...

C27028Lab Froth Flotation Testing Guide With Coal Quality

Correct outcomes from laboratory froth flotation testing in coal bor...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C26039Nanoporosity In Cokes: Their Origin, Control And Influence On CO2 Reactivity

This project using the outcomes of previous project C24060, examine...

C28063A Comprehensive Technical Review Of High-Efficiency Low-Emission (HELE) Pulverised Coal Combustion Technologies For Power Generation

Research and development has been undertaken worldwide to realise co...

C28064Carbon Structure Transformation During Coking Of Australian Coking Coals: Better Understanding The Coke Formation

Carbon structures of coke that are formed during the plastic layer a...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL) - Phase 2 Demonstration In A Packed Bed Reactor

An alternative approach to high temperature oxidation of ventilation...

C26004CFD Modelling Of Reverse Thermal Oxidisers For VAM Abatement - CFD Modelling Of Fixed-Bed RTO Devices

The project is part of a larger multi‐phase program of study a...

C27058Technological Assessment Of A Recycle Reactor For VAM Abatement

Underground coal mining emits high volumes of methane, diluted in ve...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook