Application of Synthetic Bio-Compatible Polymers in Fine Coal Flotation


Froth flotation is a process in which valuable minerals are separated from gangue minerals on the basis of surface wettabilities. It is a universally accepted process for the beneficiation of coal. The large amount of coal fines that have been generated from both mining and beneficiation processes has been reported as a chronic problem to both fine coal preparation and utilization as these fines contain a high amount of ash forming minerals. The current study investigated the potential application of Synthetic Bio-compatible Polymers as slime depressants in fine coal flotation for the possibility to enhance the combustible recovery and ash rejection. Raw coal samples containing 21% of ash-forming minerals were crushed, grinded and floated in the presence of Chitosan polymer. Flotation tests were carried out in D-12 Denver flotation cell with 1-Liter capacity. Flotation outcomes were studied as a function of polymer concentration. Box-Behnken factorial method was used for experimental design. Second order response functions were produced for ash% and combustible recovery. The results obtained from this study demonstrated positive influence of chitosan polymer on ash% and combustible recovery. Ash % was decreased by 3.32 % while an increase of 48.15 % in combustible recovery was observed when chitosan was introduced in the flotation process.

Meeting Name

2018 SME Annual Conference and Expo and 91st Annual Meeting of the SME-MN Section (2018: Feb. 25-28, Minneapolis, MN)


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Beneficiation; Chitosan; Coal; Coal industry; Concentration (process); Froth flotation; Minerals; Combustible recovery; Compatible polymers; Factorial methods; Flotation process; Gangue minerals; Polymer concentrations; Second order response functions; Surface wettability; Metal recovery

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2018 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2018

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