When the pH of the Lithium mineral pulp is 5.5-6.0, the recovery rate is 78%, while the recovery rate can be improved when the alkylamine salt is used for flotation in an alkaline medium (pH is 7.5-9.5). to 90% to 92%.
When the alkylamine salt is used as the collector, ferric chloride (300～500g/t) can strongly inhibit the hectorite, and its recovery rate drops to 10%～15% when the pH of the medium is 5.8. In acidic and alkaline media, its inhibitory effect is enhanced. Calcium chloride can activate hectorite, and its recovery rate can be improved in neutral and alkaline media (pH=9.2). When using alkylamine salts, the inhibitors of hectorite include sodium sulfide, sodium silicate, starch, tannin, sodium carbonate, sodium fluorosilicate and sodium hydrogen phosphate.
A substantial amount of research was conducted on the principle of Lithium mineral flotation and the separation process in the 1950s and 1960s, both at home and abroad. Both at home and abroad, research on the basic principles of ore beneficiation and the properties of specific ore separation has made rapid progress in recent years. However, little research has been conducted on spodumene, far behind that on other ores’ beneficiation properties.
As a result of the current practice of spodumene recovery, the following three points may exist:
1) Collectors still use traditional drugs with low efficiency. They include fatty acids (731, naphthenic acid soap, oleic acid, Tal oil), amine cationic collectors, alkyl sulfates, and sulfonates. All of the above collectors have obvious defects. When used alone, fatty acid collectors require a large amount and have poor collection effects. They need to be used in combination with a variety of collectors and are sensitive to temperature. Dispersion; the use conditions of alkyl sulfates and alkyl sulfonates are relatively harsh, and such collectors need to be in an acidic environment to achieve effective selection of spodumene; while amine collectors are effective for spodumene It has a strong collection ability, but at the same time it also has a strong collection ability for other silicate gangue minerals, and the selectivity is poor.
2) Regulators have poor selectivity and are mostly toxic. Spodumene minerals have similar floatability to silicate gangue minerals. The key to the success or failure of the flotation process lies in whether the effective selective inhibition and activation of spodumene can be achieved in the flotation practice. Mainly include water glass, dextrin, starch, sodium fluoride, sodium sulfide, etc. These inhibitors not only have an inhibitory effect on gangue minerals but also have an obvious inhibitory effect on Lithium mineral.
3) The existence of “unavoidable ions” has an important influence on the flotation of spodumene. Due to the surface characteristics of different silicate minerals after crushing and the natural differences in the chemical characteristics of their mineral crystals, there are certain flotation differences in different flotation environments. As long as the separation conditions are well controlled, spodumene and other Efficient separation of silicate gangue minerals. During the grinding process, due to the action of the steel ball and the lining plate in the operation, the mineral surface is polluted by iron to a certain extent, so that the iron and its compounds are fixed on the mineral surface, and these “unavoidable ions” are difficult to be completely removed. To a large extent, it affects the selection of minerals; in addition, the multivalent metal cations present in the water used for flotation (especially the backwater) will also have varying degrees of influence on the flotation of silicate minerals (such as Ca2+, Mg2+, Fe3+, etc.). Therefore, in the practice of industrial flotation, the above “unavoidable ions” have an important influence on the flotation of spodumene.
It can be seen that the selection of efficient collectors and inhibitors, and the overcoming of the influence of “unavoidable ions” must be solved to achieve high-precision sorting of Lithium mineral.
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