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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Simulation of potash rougher flotation Wong, Michael W. K.


The rougher flotation behaviour of Potash ore from the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan was evaluated in both laboratory batch and continuous cells by the use of experimental designs. Data obtained in all tests were adjusted statistically and then used to estimate the parameters of proposed kinetic models. By means of statistical and physical significance criteria, the Beta distribution model was found to be the best in fitting kinetic data on a size-by-size basis. The estimated parameters were regressed with the operating variables manipulated in the experimental runs. Ways to enhance the recovery of coarse KCl particles were postulated. However, translation of results to a full-scale plant trial depends on matching the mode of operation of the plant (i.e. whether it be in rate or equilibrium control) to shifts in the equilibrium recovery and flotation rate that were observed in the laboratory batch tests. The effect of particle size on initial flotation rates of KCl was found to be a maximum at 177 μm. NaCl (max. at 104 μm) and INSOL (max. at 187 μm) account for poor concentrate grades in the fine size range. Finally, an empirical scale-up procedure is proposed to predict large scale continuous data from small batch results. Using model parameter/size relationships, the number of scale-up constants were reduced substantially.

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