The Use of Chitosan as a Green Depressant of Silicates in Phosphate Flotation


The application of green reagents as process aids in the froth flotation process is of crucial importance in order to reduce the environmental impacts. In this study, chitosan polymer was used as a green depressant of silicates in the direct flotation of phosphate minerals. Zeta potential measurements were used to examine the electrical properties of mineral surfaces in the presence and absence of chitosan polymer to understand the behavior of the flotation feed. Flotation recoveries and concentrates' grade of phosphates were studied as a function of chitosan's dosage, pulp's pH, and flotation time. The flotation recoveries of phosphate minerals in the presence of chitosan polymer were compared with the recovery values obtained when commercial silicates dispersant (sodium silicate) was applied. Results indicated that in the presence of 300 g/ton of chitosan polymer, the recovery of phosphate minerals was ~70% as compared to ~40% when the same dosage of sodium silicate dispersant was used. Results suggested that chitosan can be used as a green and sustainable depressant of silicate minerals in phosphate flotation process under specific conditions.

Meeting Name

MineXchange 2020 SME Annual Conference and Expo (2020: Feb 23-26, Phoenix, AZ)


Mining Engineering

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

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Publication Date

01 Jan 2020

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