Comparative study of the effect of frothers on the flotation of nickel sulphide ore

A. S. Afolabi, E. Muzenda, A. S. Abdulkareem, V. Maluleke, A. G. Ikotun

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Froth flotation process is an important process that involves solid-solid/solid-liquid separation of minerals from gangue. However, the performance of froth separation is affected by the types of frothers. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to determine the effect of different frothers in the flotation of low-grade nickel sulphide obtained in South Africa. Sodium isobutyl xanthate was used as a collector in this investigation. The mineralogy analysis showed that the samples of the ores contained 0.33 and 2.45% nickel feed grade for ore samples A and B, respectively. Batch flotation tests were performed on the ore samples using two different frothers namely Senfroth XP 200 and 516. Some of the nickel was found to be associated with the gangue minerals present in these ores and recoveries were based on the total nickel value. It was observed that 0.24 and 0.29% of the total 0.333% of the feed ore were recovered from sample A by Senfroth XP 516 and 200, respectively. The results also revealed that 1.77 and 2.13% of the total 2.45% of the feed ore were recovered from sample B by 516 and XP 200, respectively. Analysis of the results revealed that 0.07 and 0.04% of the nickel were recovered from the tailing by Senfroth XP 516 and 200, respectively from the ores grade sample A, while 0.53 and 0.30% of nickel were recovered from the tailing of sample B. It can be deduced from this work that Senfroth XP 516 is more selective for the recovery of nickel from nickel sulphide ore as compared to the Senfroth XP 200. The better performance of Senfroth XP 516 can be attributed to the better adsorption capacity and level of interaction of the Senfroth 516 and the dispersant employed in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-295
Number of pages9
JournalParticulate Science and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2012


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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