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Sedimentary rock-type apatite ore is usually rich in phosphorus elements, exists in the form of calcium phosphate, and is an important phosphate fertilizer raw material, widely used in agriculture. Therefore, the exploitation and utilization of apatite is crucial for global agriculture and food production. However, the issue of limitation and sustainability of phosphorus resources has also received increasing attention, and overexploitation of apatite may lead to resource depletion and environmental problems. The selection of appropriate sedimentary rock type phosphate mineral processing technology and equipment can improve the utilization rate of phosphate mineral resources and reduce the waste of resources. The following will mainly introduce the common beneficiation technology and equipment of apatite ore.
(Mineral Processing Technology)
Use the table of contents below to navigate through the guide:
Because the apatite raw ore is massive, it needs to be broken and refined, so the raw ore is sent to the crushing and screening workshop for treatment. Aatite has to go through coarse, medium and fine crushing processes. After different crushing processes, the apatite ore particles are reduced, and the concentrate particles will basically complete the dissociation. Common crushing equipment includes jaw crusher and cone crusher.
Jaw crusher: usually used for primary crushing of apatite ore. They have fixed and removable jaws that form a "V" -shaped chamber. The ore is sent to the top of the chamber and crushed as moved, with the crushed material discharged from the bottom.
Cone crusher: cone crusher is used for secondary and tertiary crushing of apatite ore. They are able to produce finer particle sizes than a jaw crusher.
After crushing, the ore is usually screened to separate fine particles from coarse ones. This step is essential for obtaining the desired particle size distribution. Often used equipment mainly include vibration screen and drum screen.
Vibrating screen: Vibrating screen is used to divide the crushed apatite ore into different particle sizes. They consisted of a vibrating screen surface that classifies materials by size through the vibration. The type shall be selected according to the production requirements and ore characteristics.
Roller screen: The drum screen is a rotating screen that rotates when the ore enters. They are often used in large operations and allow efficient screening of materials of various sizes.
Depending on the characteristics of the ore and the desired-product required, grinding may be necessary to further reduce the particle size. Commonly used grinding equipment includes ball mill, rod mill, etc. Ball mills are commonly used to grind the broken apatite ore. They consisted of a rotating cylinder shell internally filled with frosted media (such as steel balls), which crushed and ground the ore as the cylinder rotates. Ball mills can produce a wide range of particle sizes. The rod mill is similar to a ball mill, but uses long steel rods instead of the ball as the grinding medium. They are commonly used for coarse grinding, and for some applications they may be more energy efficient than a ball mill. The selection of proper grinding machines depends on the specific requirements of the processing plant and the desired product characteristics. Typically, different grinding machine types may need to be combined to achieve the required particle size and mineral dissociation of the apatite ore.
Aatite is usually present with impurities, so flotation separation is required to separate calcium phosphate minerals and other impurity minerals.
The ore after crushing and grinding is mixed with the water to form a mineral slurry. Drugs (collectors and foaming agents) are added to the slurry to promote the selective attachment of phosphate minerals to the bubbles. By passing through the air, the phosphate mineral floats to the surface to form a foam, collected and processed further to separate the phosphate concentrate from other minerals.
During the treatment of the apatite ore, several different types of flotation machines were used to separate the valuable phosphate minerals from the solid waste materials. Common flotation machines include mechanical agitation flotation machines that use impeller to stir the slurry and introduce air to allow the bubbles to adhere to the slurry. An inflatable flotation machine, which utilizes externally generated air bubbles and introduces them into the pool. The flotation column is a tall vertical column with a countercurrent flow of air and slurry. These different types of flotation machines have their own advantages, and are selected according to the characteristics of the ore, the required product quality and process efficiency requirements, so as to achieve the goal of effectively separating phosphate minerals from impurities.
The flotation concentrate required further treatment to remove excess moisture, and various types of dewatering equipment were used according to the specific requirements of the operation. Common dehydration devices include vacuum filters, which use vacuum suction to pass water through the filtration medium, leaving behind a solid concentrate. Centrifuge, which uses a centrifugal force to separate water from the solid by rapid rotation. The filter press, which presses the slurry to force water through the filter cloth, leaving a dry concentrate. The choice of the dehydrator depends on factors such as the water content of the concentrate, the level of water required for the final product, and the production capacity of the facility.
The dehydrated concentrate needs to be dried to change it from the serous state to the powder form. This is usually done using a drying equipment. After flotation, dehydration, and drying, the resulting calcium phosphate powder can be further processed to improve the purity and quality of the calcium phosphate. Finally, the calcium phosphate powder can be packaged in the desired form and then transported to the destination, usually in the agricultural field for the manufacture of chemical fertilizers.
(Mineral Processing Technology)
The above is the sedimentary rock apatite mineral processing process and the required equipment. During the whole mineral processing process, special attention needs to be paid to environmental protection and resource sustainability to reduce the adverse effects on the environment and ensure the rational utilization of ore resources. In the actual production, the specific phosphate ore processing process should be determined according to the ore characteristics and production requirements, in order to improve the utilization rate of resources and avoid losses.