Froth Flotation

The froth flotation process separates solid particles based on the differences in physical and surface chemistry properties. It is the most efficient and cost-effective method for treating particles within a narrow size range, nominally from 10 to 100 μm. However, froth flotation of fine and ultrafine mineral particles poses a major technical challenge in the field of mineral processing due to the low bubble-particle collision efficiencies of conventionally sized bubbles. Several flotation technologies have been developed that aim to increase the bubble-particle collision efficiency, either by decreasing the bubble size or by increasing the apparent particle size. A side-by-side comparison of conventional-sized bubbles and nanobubbles showed that nanobubbles on the surface of particles facilitated the attachment of conventional-sized bubbles and subsequently increased the flotation rate of particles.

Better Collision

The negative surface charge of nanobubbles limits bubble coalescence, ensuring they stay separated in solution. The bubbles charge, in combination with the high concentration of nanobubbles delivered to the mineral solution by the Moleaer generator, increases the probability of collision with suspended ores and metals and improves floatation rates.

Rise Rate Flexibility

The gas-injection rate through Moleaer's nanobubble generator is tunable, enabling operators to manipulate the size of bubbles produced and adjust rise rates accordingly to meet the needs of the water being treated. As bubble size decreases so does its buoyancy and subsequently its rise rate. A lower rise rate is advantageous for froth flotation of coarse particles and hard-to-float suspensions that require relatively long slide times. Meanwhile, a more rapid rise rate may be acceptable for larger, more buoyant particle removal.

Simple to Retrofit

Moleaer's nanobubble generators are easy to integrate into existing flotation systems. Customer can utilize the generator to replace existing gas flotation methods or in combination with them. In either case, customers can expect to experience an improvement in metals recovery without increasing operating costs.