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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Physicochemical characterization of a carbon containing phosphate ore Sablok, Abhay


The current research project is aimed at investigating the occurrence of organic matter found in certain types of phosphate ores and the behavior of the ore under mechanical treatment. The presence of organic compounds, often collectively referred to as kerogen, complicates the froth flotation of such ores, and further advances in the processing of high-organics phosphate ores require a thorough understanding of the nature, occurrence, and distribution of organic compounds within phosphate ores. Among the most advanced methods, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to generate maps of mineral components within grains of various sizes, and micro-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy/microscopy (FTIR) to visualize the presence and distribution of various organic compounds on mineral particles were employed. These techniques provided information about associations of organics with different ore components. Finally, different mechanical treatment methods for pre-conditioning were tested in order to investigate the release of organics and other mineral phases as a possible alternative to indiscriminate crushing and grinding of the ore, and to selectively release clean phosphates of a higher grade.

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