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Phosphorus is widely used in aviation, chemical industry, food and other fields. As the demand continues to grow, we are also facing problems such as scarcity of rich phosphate ores and rich lean ores. Improving the recovery rate of phosphate ore dressing has become one of the effective ways to solve this problem. As different ore types require different beneficiation processes, phosphate ore beneficiation mainly adopts the following traditional processes: scrubbing and desliming, gravity separation, flotation, combined gravity-magnetic separation process and roasting-digestion process. Among them, flotation is the main beneficiation method of phosphate rock, especially suitable for complex refractory ores. In the flotation process of phosphate rock, the use of flotation agents is one of the important factors affecting the flotation effect. The following will introduce the types of phosphate rock flotation agents used in the phosphate ore flotation process.
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Phosphate ore flotation can be divided into forward flotation and reverse flotation. In positive flotation, fatty acid anion collectors are often used for flotation of phosphate minerals and carbonate minerals. In reverse flotation, amine collectors are used to float silicate gangue minerals. In addition, amphoteric collectors can also be used.
Commonly used anion collectors are mainly long-chain fatty acids and their soaps. These fatty acids are usually derived from tall oil, a by-product of the paper industry, or a by-product of the vegetable oil chemical industry, which is prepared by chemical methods. Fatty acid collectors have strong collection capacity and are sensitive to ore pulp and some ions, but have poor selectivity. Because fatty acids and their soaps have low solubility at room temperature and are not easy to disperse, the pulp needs to be heated during use, but this will increase energy consumption and increase production costs.
Cationic collectors are mainly used for phosphate ore reverse flotation of silicate minerals such as quartz. Commonly used cationic collectors include amine collectors and their modified products, such as fatty primary amines, ether amines, laurylamine, alkylamides, etc. Using ether amine for quartz reverse flotation can improve the grade of phosphorus concentrate, and the effect is better than that of fatty acid collectors.
Phosphate collector molecules contain both anions and cations. The cationic part is usually an amine group, such as various aminocarboxylic acids, while the anionic part can be a sulfonate-type aminosulfonic acid in addition to a carboxylic acid. Amphoteric collectors are excellent in flotation performance with good selectivity to apatite.
Phosphate ores often contain carbonate minerals such as dolomite and calcite. When inhibiting dolomite, carboxymethyl cellulose, citric acid, etc. are often used. Sodium nitrohumate, sodium lignosulfonate, and sulfonated phenol tar formaldehyde condensate can be used as inhibitors of carbonate minerals. In terms of phosphate inhibition, sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid and their salts are effective inhibitors.
When fatty acid reagents are used for phosphate rock flotation, the flotation performance can be improved by emulsifying or adding a small amount of activator to the fatty acid collector. After emulsification or adding activators, a synergistic effect will be produced, and these surfactants are synergists for phosphate rock flotation.
The above are the types of flotation agents commonly used in the phosphate ore beneficiation process. Flotation is an effective method of separation from phosphate minerals, and most phosphate products worldwide are obtained by flotation. However, in actual production, the appropriate technological process and chemical system should be selected according to the specific situation in order to realize the comprehensive utilization of phosphate rock resources. Therefore, it is suggested that on the basis of beneficiation test analysis, tailor-made phosphate ore beneficiation plan according to ore characteristics, in order to improve the recovery rate of phosphate ore concentrate.