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The effects of polyacrylamide flocculants on sulphide flotation and flotation tailings Vreugde, Morris Johannes Aloysius

Abstract

The relative effectiveness of anionic and nonionic polyacrylamide in enhancing the settling rate of flotation tailings was studied by performing batch settling tests. Anionic polyacrylamide was found to be more effective than nonionic polyacrylamide. A liquid flocculant was found to give lower settling rates than dry flocculants due to a lower polyacrylamide content. The aging of tailings resulted in increased settling rates. Residual polyacrylamide was detected in the supernatant water even at low flocculant addition rates and reached significant concentrations before the optimum addition rate was attained. The effect of polyacrylamide on flotation of a copper-molybdenum ore was investigated in a series of batch flotation tests. Flocculant concentrations up to 10 parts per million did not lower either concentrate grade or recovery. The presence of an oil phase from the liquid flocculant also had no noticeable effect on flotation.

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