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Evaluation of a Novel Contact Cell for Fine Phosphate Recovery



Continuous experiments were carried out in a computer-controlled contact column flotation system to determine the feasibility of recovering the phosphate values in phosphatic clays. The contact column is an improvement over the conventional flotation column with significantly increased throughput. The heart of this new separation process is the turbulent contact chamber where particle-bubble contact is effected. As a result of the turbulent conditions in the contact chamber, particle collection is complete in about a second. Thus the flotation column is mainly used to effect the separation of the bubble-particle aggregates. The contact column has two major advantages: fast collection that translates to high throughput; and quieter froth, which is beneficial to higher recovery from fine feed materials. Flotation of a bulk phosphatic clay sample with a fatty acid collector showed no selection separation of phosphate from gangue materials (mainly clay minerals and sands).