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Патент USA US2106887

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"2,106,887
Patented Feb. 1, 1938
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
mz'rnon or raria'rnm onus
Theodore Earle, Paci?c Palisades, Calif.
Application June
No. Drawing.serial
N0. 88,147
30, 1936,
-
‘17
(Cl- 209-167)
Lead- molybdates
This invention is a continuation in part and
Lead vanadates
a development of my invention as disclosed in
‘Hematite (FezOa)
my application for Letters Patent of the United
Magnetite (FeaOr)
States, Serial Number 685,743, and has to do
Limonite (2FezOa,3HaO)
with the ?eld of froth ?otation separation and
5
selective concentration of ores, minerals and
other inorganic compounds, and more particu
larly with the preliminary preparation of mate
rials to be later ?otatively separated, and has as
1 O an object to provide a novel and improved tech
The manganese oxide ores
nique giving effect to hitherto unknown discoveries
Cassiterire (SnOz)
wheretlirough separations and concentrations
heretofore considered impossible through ?ota
Chromite (FeQCrzOz)
tion methods may be e?‘lciently accomplished,
15 and wherethrough ?ner separations, cleaner
concentrates and higher recoveries may be more
efficiently and more economically had in the
generally known ?eld of froth ?otation separa
2O
Scheelite (CaWOr)
Placer gold where the gold is found in grains
of specular hematite.
Ferberite
10
tion.
Standard froth ?otation methods at present
commercially employed are highly successful
when applied to materials characterized by
strong adsorptive power in respect to the ap
plied ?otation reagents, in which class may be
25 included most of the metals and metallic sul
phides. However, such methods are at best but
moderately e?icient when applied to the ?otation
of the metallic oxides and quite ine?cient when
utilized in attempts to ?oat the silicates and
30
non-metallic oxides.
‘
,
.
The hereinafter described improved method
Bauxite (aluminum oxide)
Carnotite (Va and U oxide)
Brass from bronze ?lings
Brass from iron ?lings
Witherite from bauxite,
15
Ochre
20
A few of the above metallic oxides are at .
present being treated by ?otation with but in
di?erent success. For instance, a manganese
oxide ore is ,being ?oated in Cuba through a
very delicate process and with but a fair recov
ery. On the other hand, the improved method 25
applied to a closely similar ore produced a 95%
recovery and a concentrate showing 56% man
ganese.
'
-
Considering the true silicates and the metallic
oxides it is found that many such can not be 30
commercially separated or ?oated at all with
conventional methods, and the others only inr
will e?iciently ?oat the silicates and non-metallic » efficiently through the use of expensive reagents
oxides, improve the recoveries now possible to activate the particlev surfaces, while the im
through ?otation of the metallic oxides and even proved method has been applied to the success 35
35 enhance the recoveries now had through ?ota
ful, e?icient and inexpensive ?otation of the fol
tion of the metals and sulphides. In the last
cited case, both oxidized and unoxidized particles
of the material soughtto be ?oated do not always
Silica sand and quartz of minus 16 mesh
40
respond to conventional methods and are lost
(S102)
;
v
40 to the recovery, when, through application of
The feldspar-s in coarse and ?ne sizes
the improved method, such particles can be made
(K, Ca or Na aluminum silicates)
to ?oat easily and readily.
Beryl (Be3A12(SiOa) e)
'
In the ?eld of the true metallic oxides such
The mlcas (K and Mg aluminum silicates)
minerals as azurite (2CuCOa.Cl1(OH)a), mala->
Garnet (Ca, Mg, Fe or Mn aluminum sili 45
lowing:
'
,
I
45 chite (CuCO3C11(OH)2) , and wulfenite (PbMnOr)
are rather easily treated by standard ?ota
tion methods with rather low grade recov
eries and concentrates, but when treated by the
improved method herebelow described all of
5 O these minerals were e?lciently ?oated with high
recoveries. Among other oxide minerals suc
cessfully and inexpensively ?oated with the im
proved technique may be listed
55
Cuprite (CuaO)
'
>
Lepidolite (lithia aluminum silicate)
,
‘
Crystalline limestone from amorphous lime 50'
stone
Monazite (Ce, La, Di)P04)
Emery (FezOa and A1203)
Kaolin (hydrous silicate of aluminum)
Clay (hydrous silicate of aluminum).
mica).
Zincite (ZnO)
-
'
.
Since the technique ~wherethrough ‘the im
Franklinite
Smithsonite ((F'e,
(ZnCOa)
Mn, Zn) 0(EeMn) 30;)
Anglesite (PbSOQ
cates)
Cryolite (NaaAlFc)
vermiculiteeeither crude or" roasted (ace
v
Chrysocolla (CuSlOa.2H:O)
60
'
’
proved method is made effective is concerned
with adsorptive v(:haracteristics. of the materialv
55
amass?
tobe?oatedand withnicetiesofwaterregula
tion, for both of which an adequately speci?c
terminology is not available, certain terms and
phrases to be employed in the elaboration of the
improved method herebelow are herein speci?
cally de?ned for limitation to that particular
meaning readable therein throughout this expo
sition and the included claims.
A?inttg as used herein means surface attrac 10 tion and adhesion between a mineral particle.
and water, only; in other words, the adsorptive
effect of the mineral as evidenced in respect to
water, and not in respect to any other chemical
reagent.
Yrs
‘
'A?lnttioe capacity designates the amount of
water or thickness of water ?lm held to a min
eral_ particle against removal therefrom by a
particle of relatively lower ailinitive power.
Amnity value is the measure of the a?lnitive
capacity of a mineral particle.
.
A?lnitivc power is the measure of the effec
tive ailinity or aillnltive force of a mineral
particle.
-
Adsorptioaasusedhereinislimitedtothesur
face attraction and adhesion between-a mineral
particle and a chemical reagent other than and
from water.
Adsorptive'pow is used to designate the force '
with which chemical reagents are attracted to
and held on the surfaceof a mineral particle;
this force varies with the nature of the mineral
particle and will vary for a given particle in
respect to di?erent reagents.
Adsorptice capacity refers to the amount of
reagent or thickness of reagent ?lm held to amin
erai particle against removal therefrom by a
particle of relativdylower adsorptive power.
Adsorptioe e?ect denotes the practical result
obtained in respect to concentration of reagent
40 on and about a mineral particle through exercise
of the adsorptive power of such particle.
'
Adsorptine. di?e'rential designates the differ
maintenance of such temperatures in the ore or
mineral, since the material when at lower tem
peratures will adsorb moisture from the atmos
phere. A dry ore ashere considered may have’
free water absorbed within the interior of the
particles.
7
Hoist de?nes an ore or mineral condition
wherein the variable-?lm water content varies
from Just above the dry condition as a lower lim
it to an upper limit determined by that amount 10
of water which will satisfy the a?initive needs of
all the material particles, The total amount of
water to satisfy these afiinitive needs will vary
with the degree of comminution and speci?c
gravity of the material; the ?ner grinding re
15
quiring the larger amounts of water because of
the larger surface areas to be covered. For ma
terial ground to pass 16 mesh and with few-?nes
the upper limit of variable ?lm water may be as
low as y. of 1% or it may approach 3%; if the 20
material is ground to pass a 100 mesh screen the
upper limit of variable ?lm water will approach
8% by weight of the material. In no case will
the a?initive needs of the material treated by this
method be larger than 8% by weight. Material
in a moist condition will not contain interstitial
water but it may have water; absorbed within-the
interiors' of the various particles in addition to >
the variable ?lm water. Under no conditions
can the small amount of water required by the 30
improved process be obtained by natural drain
age alone. If natural drainage is usedas a step
in the dewatering it must be augmented by evap
oration or other means.
The improved method
to be describedv deals entirely with materials in 35
the moist condition.
Moisture, as herein used, has the same limi- I
tations of meanng as are above employed in re
spect to moist.
>
_ _
Wet refers to a condition of ore or mineral
where there is suillcient free water to give an
excess over that needed to satisfy the a?initive
ence between adsorptive ‘capacities of mineral ‘ needs of the ore particles. > An ore which has been ,
particles in respect to the same reagent.
I'lotatioely modify is used to describe the action
resulting in change in surface characteristics of
a mineral particle through a?inity or adsorption
talii'ecting the behavior of such particle in a ?ota
on cell.
-
allowed to drain naturally (without evaporation)
45
over long periods of time is still in the wet condi
tion.
4
.' -
'
Excessively wet de?nes that condition where
the amount of free water in an ore or mineral is
_ such as to substantially suspend the ore particles
Flotctinelg increase dacribes such modifying . in the water when agitated. Except in the case
of very ?ne comminution of the material, any .
bility of the particle so modi?ed.
..
mix containing over 25% by weight of water
action as rsults in or enhances the relative flota
i'lototively prevent describes such modifying
55 action as destroys or decreases the relative
?otability of the particle so modi?ed.
Free water refers to the moisture or water'
content of the ore or mineral other than the
' water of chemical combination of such ore or
mineral and includes both adsorbed and absorbed
water and interstitial water. Free water in
cludes all water that can be drained‘, ?ltered or
evaporated at temperatures below 212 degrees F.
from an ore or mineral.
Variable-?lm water is herein limited to a des
ignatlon of the amount of water adsorbed to the
exterior surfaces of the ore and mineral particles .
and held to these surfaces by the a?inity of the
particles.
70
1
~
;
Dry for purposes of this exposition de?nes a
condition of ore or mineral wherein all variable
?lm water has becneliminated. This condition
can be- obtained only through evaporation of
the water at temperatures considerably above
would be termed ekcessivelyiwet.
Film as used herein refers to that quantity of '
liquid, either water’ or reagent, adsorptively'held 55
tothe surfaces of ore or mineral particles. The
?lm adsorbable to a given mineral particle will
vary in thickness in aocordyith'the adsorp
tive capacity of such mineral in respect to the
speci?c liquid concerned and in any given in
stance will be the resultant of two variables,,_
namely, the adsorptive or ailinitive capacity of the
mineral and the character of the liquid, assum
ing an adequate supply of the liquid.
'
Active reagent designates herein a reagent
65
capable of ?otativemodi?cation of a mineral
surface. As examples under this heading may
be grouped the fatty acids and their derivatives,
soaps, xanthates, aero?ot, sodium sulphide, cop 70
per sulphate, water, cyanide, etc., etc.
Inactive reagent is employed herein to desig
nate a reagent incapable of ?otatively modifying -
mineral surfaces and employed to satisfy physi-_
II atmospheric and can be maintained only through I cal qualitia of the mineral, such as absorption,
75
.3.
2,106,887
and to serve as solvents for the active reagents.
Kerosene, crude oil and castor oil are examples
of inactive reagents.
A further reason for leaving a certain amount
of variable-?lm water in the material may be
found in the fact that certain of the ?otative
reagents require a vehicle of solution and a ?uid
' Insulate is herein used to denote the action of
medium to facilitate spreading thereof through
variable-?lm water adherent to a mineral particle -
10
in negativing, through partial or complete satis
out the material, both of which requirements
faction of the af?nitive capacity of such par
ticle, the adsorptive power of such particle in re
spect to an applied reagent.
vantage by the variable-?lm water inherent in
The improved method dealswith the regula
can be met to a considerable degree and to ad-'
the material.
.
In addition, instances occur when the variable! 10
?lm water serves both of the foregoing functions
tion of the free water in the material to be sepa
rated, and more particularly with regulation of I and acts as an adsorptive inhibitor while simul
taneously aiding as a solution vehicle and as a
the variable-?lm water of such material.
>
In standard ?otation practice the reagents are spreading agent.
The reasons for a moist condition of the ma 15
15 added to, agitated with or ground with a thor
oughly wet or excessively wet mixture wherein ' terial as utilized in the improved method may
.
the presence of interstitial water insures that the then be listed as follows:
'a?‘lnitive capacity of each particle has been satis
?ed to permit thorough coating of each particle 1. Because it is impractical to determine the ex 20'
act amount of reagents required for a given
20 with its maximum thickness of water ?lm. That
separation.
'
»
is, in standard ?otation only those minerals of
2.' Because of the expense of drying material
high adsorptive power are able to adsorb suf
and maintaining the material in a dry con
?cient of the ?otation reagents to ?otatively
dition.
\
modify their surfaces through, displacement of
3. Because moisture acts as an insulator to in 25
25 water ?lm by reagent ?lm. If the affinity of
hibit adsorption of reagents to material par
the particle for water is greater than its adsorp
ticles, thus permitting use of enough reagent
tive power in respect to the reagents ‘employed, it
to ?oat all of the desired particles.
follows as a matter of course, that no concentra
tion of reagents will serve to modify the particle 4. Because moisture permits of more de?nitely 30
establishing of the line of ?otative separa
30 for selective separation by ?otation if the af
tion of a mix.
.
?nitive capacity of such particle has once been
satis?ed.
_
Water regulation, as hereinafter described, has
several functions when employed with the, other
35 steps of the improved method. Since a reduction
in the'amount of variable-?lm water results in
advantages of economy and separation, it might
appear that entire elimination of the free water
and treatment of the material in a dry condi
40 tion would be ideal. This is not the case. Due
to variations in composition of. the materials,
?neness of grinding, thoroughness of agitation,
and the like, it is found practically inexpedient
to determine the exact minute quantity of ?ota
45 tion reagents to be applied to a given dry mate
rial to ?oat just the mineral desired, excess re
agent bringing up undesired mineral and insuf
?cient reagent failing to bring up the desired
percentage of mineral sought.
In addition, it is expensive to thoroughly ‘dry
50
the material in the ?rst instance and very di?i~
cult as well as expensive to maintain the dry
condition of the material and prevent adsorption
of water thereto from the atmosphere during
55 conditioning and treatment. Consequently, the
improved method does not contemplate entire
elimination of the-variable-?lm water and uti
5. Because moisture acts as a vehicle of reagent
solution and as a ?uid medium to facilitate
spreading of reagents throughout the ma
terial being treated.
'
35
6. Because moisture acts simultaneously as an
adsorptive inhibitor, a solution vehicle and a
spreading agent._
~
.
_
7. Because moist condition of the material per
mits use of less quantities of reagents due to 40
enhanced action and effect of such reagents
_ when in'concentrated condition.
It has long been recognized that a tremendous
difference exists in respect to affinity and ad
sorptive power for water and ?otation reagents
between the metals and sulphide minerals on
the one hand and the silicates and the oxides
on the other hand, but it has not previously been
shown that sufficient differences in adsorptive 50
powers of the silicates and oxides existed to per
mit of their selective separation within ‘their own
classi?cations as well as one from the other.
’
Through application of the improved technique
taught herein, and especially through regulation 55
and control of the variable-?lm water in a moist
mixture, it can be practically demonstrated that
lizes as a lower limit on the amount of variable
‘each and every mineral has a distinct and de?
?lm water that amount which could be adsorbed nite a?nity for water and a distinct and de? 60
to the material from the atmosphere, which low
nite adsorptive power. in respect to each of the
er limit may be but infrequently approached in various ?otation reagents,‘ which characteris
actual practice.
tics may be employed to effect froth ?otation
The variableh?lm water thus ever present in separation of the minerals, including even those
the material to be treated is utilized for its in
of exceedingly lower adsorptive powers. - _
65
65 hibiting e?ect on the material particles of great
' For a better understanding of the effects and
est a?inity therefor to the end of insulating said results obtainable through regulation of vari
particles from adsorption of reagents and permit
able-?lm water in an ore mix, it might‘ be well
ting the use of su?icient quantity of reagents to to consider the a?initive capacity of a given min
?otatively modify all of the desired particles eral particle as representing the number of water
70
70 without danger of dirty concentrates.
layers
of
uniform
thickness
adherent
to
the
sur
In other words, the variable-?lm water acts
to further lower'the adsorptive power eifect of faces of such particles from an excess supply
the relatively lower adsorptive-powered particles of water and which will adhere to such particle
and thus more de?nitely establishes .the line of when the excess water has been drained away.
Thus, a mineral particle with an amnitive ca-_
75 ?otative separation between particles of the mix.
2, 106,887
pacity of .1 would, in the presence of adequate
Application of the improved technique to ?ota
water, surround itself with a water ?lm of one tive, separation of a ‘given mineral involves con
layer thickness, while a mineral particle-with an slderation of two determinants, namely the water
amnitive capacity of 10 would, in the presence a?lnity of the materials to be‘ separated and the
of adequate water, surround itself with a water relative adsorptive powers of such minerals in re
?lm of ten layers’ thickness, or ten times as thick spect to the reagents to be employed. Where the
as the ?lm carried by the particle of one-tenth mineral to be ?oated has great adsorptive power in
amnitive capacity.
.
.
respect to the reagents and is combined with a
The thickness of water ?lm represented by the - gangue of low adsorptive power, as is
10 a?lnitive capacity of the particle will be retained the case with‘ the metals and metal sulphide ores
by such particle after draining away of excess - having a silicate gangue, the water affinity can be
water, and it is with variation in the thickness disregarded and conventional ?otation methods
of such ?lm that regulation of the variable-?lm employed, since the high-adsorptive-powered
15
water is concerned.
When any interstitial water is present in an
minerals are able to adsorb the reagents to a ?ota
tive concentration about their particles through 15
even the .maximum water ?lm permitted by their
mineral particles have been satis?ed and all such - a?lnity, while the low-adsorptive-powered gangue
particlm carry water ?lms of the maximum could not hold a ?otative concentration of re
thickness permitted by their respective a?lnitive agents in the presence of the higher powered par
capacities, all particles of like a?lnitive capacity ticles,_even without the inhibiting effect of the
ore mix the a?initive capacities of all of the
carrying water ?lms of like thickness.
‘
,
When the water in the mix is less than suf
?cient to satisfy the a?initive capacities of all
of the particles, what water there is may be
spread, by suitable agitation and time-conditiom,
ing, uniformly through the mixfor ?lm adher
ence to those particles of higher a?lnitive ca
pacity, ?rst, the water ?lm thus formed about
said particles of higher aiiinitive capacity being
of like, thickness on the particles of like capac-~
ity, eventhough much less in thickness, due to
insui?cient water, than the maximum ?lm pos- '
sible for the particular particle capacity, and
such higher powered particles will continue to
take up and uniformly holdthe available water
to the exclusion of the lower powered particles
until the .unsatis?ed aiiinitive capacities of the
higher powered-particles are brought to approx
imately that of the lower powered particles.
It would appear from results experimentally
obtained that the higher a?initive powered par
ticles may in many instances abstract water ?lm
from lower a?initive powered particles until the
a?initlve capacities of such higher powered par- '
ticles are completely satis?ed, so that only such
excess as may exist above the aflinitive capacities
of the higher‘ powered particles is available for
_ water-?lming of the particles of lower‘a?initive
capacities.
I
The regulation of variable-?lm water herein
taught is concerned with regulation of the amount
of variable-?lm water in the ore mix to that which
will provide water film of the desired thickness
for the purposes of a given separation on and
about some or all of the particles of the mix, such
regulation, naturally, being proportioned to the
a?initive capacities of the particles in relation to
the adsorptive capacities of such particles in re
spect to the reagents to be employed. a
It should be obvious that no speci?c limits, in
the form of weight percentages or otherwise, can
be established for control of the variable-?lm
water apartjrom the upper and lower limits pre
' ‘ viously stated, since marry factors enter into the
determination of the exact amount of variable
?lm water required for-successful ?otative separa—
tion of a particular ore mix, not the least of which
factors is the degree of comminution'to which the
mix has been brought, it being apparent that it
70 would require a much greater amount of water
to ?lm each particle ofja'200 mesh grind than it
would to ?lm each
le of a a mesh grind of
the same weight, film- thickness being equal. .
- Speci?c gravity of the various particles is also a
75 factor.
water ?lm, unless a vast excess of reagents was
available.
Even in' the situation cited, however, nicety of '
separation and economy of reagents can be en.
hanced through control of the variable-?lm water
to that amount readily ?lmable about the lower
adsorptive-powered particles only, thus supplying
such particles with the desired inhibitor and free
ing the higher-powered particles for e?'ective ?o
tative combination ~with , a relatively min
amount of the reagents.
_
>
'
Where it is desired to ?otativeiy separate one
mineral of high adsorptive power from
of
like character, the relative'water amnity of- the
minerals is of great importance, since it is in many
such cases impossible to' gauge the reagents re“
quired in a wet mixture to that amount which will
?otatively adsorb to those particles only off'the
slightly higher powered mineral. -In such a case,
regulation of the higher variable-?lm water to‘
an amount less than will satisfy the water ailin
ity of'all of the particles results in maximum con
centration of water on and about the particles of
greater ai?nity with maximum insulation of such
particles against adsorption of reagents thereto,
while the particles of lesser a?lnity, possibly hav- .
ing lost water ?lm to those of higher. affinity, are
enabled to exert a relatively much higher adsorp-.
tive power and effect a ?otative concentration of
reagents on their surfaces to the exclusion of the
water-?nned particlesv from such concentration,
when a small amount of reagents is employed.
The more closely the variable-?lm water is reg
ulated to that amount conibinable with only the
particles of greater a?inity, thus substantially, 55
freeing the particles of lesser a?inity from water
?lm, the more complete and perfect can be the
?otative separation and the smaller can be the
quantity of reagents requiredtherefor.
' When the separation desired is'to be had be
60
tween minerals of low adsorptive powers or high
amnities, regulation of‘ the variable-?lm water
is of primary importance, since the presence of a
thick water ?lm on all of the particles‘will, in
most such instances‘, inhibit ?otation of'any of 65
a
the particles.
‘
In treating such lower-adsorptive-powered
minerals for ?otative separation, it may be neces
sary to regulate the variable-?lm water to an
amount less than will satisfy the affinity of the 70
mineral having the relatively greater water a?in
ity, thus freeing the particles of lesser a?inity
from water ?lm so that no inhibiting effect is
present as between reagents and such latter par 75
2,100,887
5
plied to such a mix when dry would result in ?o
ticles and the low adsorptive power of such par- ' tation of some feldspar. The ideal treatment for
ticles may then act to effect ?otative concentra
tion of reagents on and about such particles while
such a mix would include regulation of the vari-.
able-?lm water to an amount su?icient to sat
those particles of greater a?inity are completely
isfy the a?inity of the feldspar and prevent any
adsorption of reagent thereto, in which even
insulated by water ?lm and can adsorb none of
the reagents whatever.
10
.
_
either large or small amounts of reagent would
With some minerals of low adsorptive powers, 'serve to e?iciently ?oat the galena alone.
notably silicates, a dry condition of the mix
Because of the varying adsorptive powers a'
treated with a quantity of reagents sui?cient to given mineral may exhibit in respect to various 10
satisfy the adsorptive capacities of the minerals reagents and because of the almost in?nite min
present permits adsorption of reagents to all of eral combinations wherein separations are de
the particles and a consequent non-selective ?o
sired, it is impossible to establish any one gen
eral rule as to regulation of the variable-?lm
Hence it follows that both water ?lm and re
water as employed in the improved method.
agent ?lm are essential for the desired selective However, the minerals to be dealt with may be
?otation separation, the ?rst to act as an inhibitor divided into two general classes according to the
in respect to ?otation of certain particles and the relation each shows between its water affinity
second to be adsorbed to and effect?otation of and its adsorptive power in respect to ?otation
the desired particles, and that regulation of the reagents in use at the time, such a grouping re 20
variable-?lm water coupled with a suitable pro- . sulting in one class, Class I, containing the min
portioning of reagents is the prerequisite to ?ota
erals having a water a?lnity generally greater
tive separation of minerals other than those of than their respective adsorptive powers and
notably great adsorptive powers. ,
As indicative of the importance of regulation which includes nearly all silicates, many of the 25
oxides, some of the carbonates, hydrates and sul
of the variable-?lm water in ?otation separa
phides, and some other less common types of
tions, a mix of beryl and feldspar may be con
and a second class, Class II, containing
sidered. Simply to better illustrate the point, the minerals,
the
minerals
having adsorptive powers generally‘
water affinity of the beryl is given a value of 20 greater than their respective water amnities and
and feldspar may be given an arbitrary a?inity
includes the metallics, most sulphides, 30
value of 25, the adsorptive power of the beryl for which
many organic minerals, some carbonates, some
oleic acid a value of 10, and the adsorptive power non-metallics, a few oxides and practically no
of the feldspar for oleic acid a value of 5. With
the variable-?lm water of the mix regulated to
In respect to these classes it may be generally
one tenth of one percent, the water a?lnity'of the
stated
that ?otation separations can not be made
minerals is only partially satis?ed but not sum
ciently so as to destroy their adsorptive power commercially with minerals of Class I when
values. Assuming that the water supplied by standard methods are employed and the vari
water is of su?icient amount to permit
the small amounts of added variable-?lm water able-?lm
now has only a value of 3, it is seen that there any interstitial water in the mix, since in‘ such 40
still remains some available adsorptive power in case not only is the water a?inity of the mineral
each mineral and also an unsatis?ed a?initive satis?ed, but an excess is represented by the in
tation.
15
20
25
'
'
silicates.
'
'
'
capacity; the available adsorptive power of the
terstitialwater; and that ?otation separations
beryl having a value of '7 and that of the feldspar
a value of .2. Now if oleic acid be added to the
mix in an amount not, quite sumcient to satisfy
vide interstitial or more water. However, some 45
the adsorptive capacity of the beryl, such reagent
will be adsorbed to the beryl and abstracted from
the feldspar particles until the adsorptive differ
ential of the beryl is satis?ed to the extent per¢
mitted by the reagent supplied, and the beryl
particles can be ?oated from the feldspar in a
froth ?otation cell. However,, since both the
beryl and the feldspar have greater amnity than
adsorptive power, continued agitation of the'par
ticles in a body of water will result in replacement
can be made wlthminerals of Class II when the
variable-?lm water is of such quantity as to pro
minerals may be in Class I with respect to cer
tain ?otation reagents and in Class II with re
spect to other such reagents and the allocation
of a speci?c mineral to either class may change
during treatment due to surface modi?cation by
reagents, hence the character and requirements
of a given combination to be separated will need
to be studied to determine the speci?c treatment
in respect to water regulation best suited to the
55
situation. Again, speaking'generally, the follow- 7
?otative characteristic, with consequent sinking
of all particles, though the adsorbed reagent will
ing guidm may be established for regulation of
variable-film water in making separations of min
erals classi?ed as above set forth:
adhere to the beryl long enoughto effect a froth
of the beryl from the feldspar. Any
' excess of reagent in the above example‘ beyond
that required to satisfy the adsorptive» dl?'eren
tial of the beryl would lie-adsorbed to the feld
A. For separation of one Class II mineral from
all Class I minerals-No water regulation re
.quired, for such separations can be made
with excess water and standard ?otation
ofv reagent ?lm by a, water ?lm and less of any
60 separation
spar, providing the latter did 'not have too thick
a ?lm of variable-?lm water, andresult in‘ dirty
concentrates and poor separation. Treated dry,
economy of reagents and closer separations.
B. For separation in one concentrate of one Class .
with su?icient-olelc acid to satisfy their respec ' 7
tive adsorptive needs,'the particles of both min--v
II mineral and one class I .mineral from
erals of the above mix could be ?oated together.
Going to the other extreme, there is the case of a
water permitted, in order to ?oat the Class I
mineral.
mix of galena and'feldspar. Thegalena might
‘I have an a?inity :of '1‘ and an adsorptive power of
100 and consequentlycouldnever have its ?lm
of reagent replaced-by water ?lm so long as any
75
methods-water regulation advantageous for
reagent was present, though excess reagent ap
other Class I minerals-Regulation of vari
able-?lm water required and no interstitial
C. For separation of one Class I mineral from
another Class I mineral-Regulation of vari
able-?lm water required and no interstitial
water permitted.
>
-
'
75
6
9, 1 06,887
D. For separation of one Class II mineral from
another Class II mineral-Possible with ex
cessive water, interstitial water or with vari
able-?lm water only, in various speci?c in
stances. Generally, better and more deli
cate separations possible with regulation of
Test IV. Test III repeated with 20 drops (5 lbs.
per ton) of oleic acid. Concentrate only 3
grams of mineral grains. Large excess of
reagent tends to be immediately washed off
the grains and coagulates them so that they
sink and also forms'a scum on the surface of
the water in the cell so that poor froth or no
' froth at all can be secured with consequently
variable-?lm water as in "0”.
As indicative. of the di?iculty: attendant upon
lower recovery.
10 any attempt to establish a rigid classi?cation
based on the ?otative characteristics of minerals,
sphalerite (ZnS) may be speci?cally considered.
be gained through regulation of the variable
?lm water and consequent variation in the thick
ness of water ?lm adherent to ore and mineral
This mineral . can not be‘ ?oated by standard
methods, nor even with the ore in a moist condi
15
tion, when‘potassium ethyl xanthate' is employed
particles, and thoroughly demonstrate the novelty
as the ?otation reagent. hence is in Class I with
of the improved method.
respect to xanthate. However, when‘icopper sul
phate is added to the ore pulp prior to the an
acid, the entire sample could be ?oated and no ‘
wherein the variable-?lm water regulation taught
herein may be most effectively employed is from
just above the dry condition to an amount Just
below that which would provide interstitial wa- '
ter in the material. Within such range, proper
regulation of the variable-?lm water permits of
selective ?otation as between materials not-pre 25
' viously considered ?otable and between materials ~
of closely similar adsorptive powers and capaci
ties.
reagent on and about the mineral particles.
\
In addition to the possibilities of water regula
moist ore condition and after proper regulation of -
the- sphalerite particles reduced to proper thick
ness by variable-?lm water regulation, the rela
tively small adsorptive power of the mineral rela
tive to oleic acid is notentirely negatived by water
?lm andmay act to ?otative concentration of such
,
separation had, hence the water limit range
on and about the coated sphalerite particles in the
presence of excessive water, the coated particles.
now being in Class II insofar as xanthate is con-v
30 cerned. However, the uncoated sphalerite in a
~35
.
Treated dry with the proper amount‘of oleic
thate, the sphalerite evidences a greater adsorp
20 tive power for the copper sulphate than amnity
for water and consequently suffers an adsorptive
surface modi?cation by the copper sulphate re
sulting in a surface coating of the sphalerite
particles with copper sulphide, which coating has
25 such great adsorptive capacity for xanthate as
to permit ?otatlve concentration of such reagent
the variable-?lm water can be ?oated with oleic
acid as a reagent, since, with the water film about
'
These tests conclusively show the advantages to 10
tion above discussed, it has been determined that 30
small amounts of certain chemicals commonly
employed as ?otation reagents will spread to form
extremely thin ?lms over moist granular min
erals, and this principle is applied in the im
proved method of treating ores and minerals
to facilitate, modify and control the separation
of the desired vores and minerals from the gangue
or other material with which they may be asso
As a concrete exampleof the ?otation possibilir ciated. This treatment is applicable to a wide
40
ties inherent‘ in regulation of variable-?lm wa
range of substances and it is believed that the
ter, comparative tests were run on a coarse
' reagent or reagents used on thismore or less
gralned (—20 mesh plus 60 mesh) silica glass
moist material has the effect, in some cases, of
sand. , This material contained pure silica grains,
reacting chemically with certain constituents of
the particles to form compounds that modify the
behavior of the particles when subjected to froth.
impure and discolored silica grains and grains of
foreign matter here designated as mineral grains,
and was chosen for test‘purposes because all ?otation. In other cases, however, it is believed
authorities agree that coarse silica can not be that the treatment modi?es the adsorptive powers
?oated, let alone separated from the impure I of the particles or of certain constituents thereof,
grains. The material was thoroughly washed and and also has the eii’ect of_producing marked
scrubbedand200gramsampleswereused ineach
I . of the following four tests:
55'
Test I. Variable-?lm water present only that
taken up by the-material'from the atmos
- thoroughly mixed therewith.
After one min
quent treatment of the water regulated mate
and control of the material behavior when sub
jected-to froth ?otation, and more speci?cally
to treatment of such water regulated material
with relatively concentrated reagents in com
better color than the tails.
paratively minute quantities prior to froth ?ota
. 5 drops of oleic acid (1.25 lbs. per ton) were
employed. Flotation concentrate 187 grams
(93.5%) and improvement in vcolor . more
marked than in Test I.
-
TestIII. ConditionsthesameasinTmt IIsave
that 1 c. c. of water (55 of 1%) was addedto
55
rial with a reagent or reagents for modi?cation
ute agitation in a froth ?otation cell 13'!
grams (68.5%) of pure silica and mineral
grains ?oated.‘ The concentrate was of much
Test 11'. Conditions thesame as in Test I save that
75
'
In a word, therefore, the invention relates
broadly to variable-?lm water regulation of ores,
' phere. approximately 15th of one percent by /minerals and inorganic compounds and subse
vweight of material. 3 drops of oleic acid
(0.75 lb. lier ton) added to the sample and
70
changes in the behavior of theparticles in the
froth ?otation cell.
tion.
‘
'
The invention. further consists in the new and‘
novel featum of operation and the new and
original arrangements and combinations of steps
intheprocesshereinafterdescrihedandmore "
particularly set forth in the claims.
In carrying out the improved process or meth
and mixed with the sand before the admix
od, the ore, mineral or inorganic compound to be‘ 70
ture of the oleic acid. Concentrate 6 grams ,treatedisground orotherwisereducedtotheiine- _
composed entirely of ‘the mineral grains hav
ness required by the particular type of material
ing relatively high adsorptive powers. No tobetreated. Ifthematerlalcontainsametal
silica ?oated due to the inhibiting effect of suchasiromcopperorsinccompoundsina?ne'
the variable-?lm water.
state of subdivision
the oreormatrix, 75
7
2,106,887
then the material is ground to a ?neness which
may be determined by any well-known method to
expose, if possible, all or part of the desired
mineral on the surfaces of the respective par
ticles. The degree of grinding can be determined
reagents used are those that are insoluble or only
slightly soluble in water. The latter method is
better because actual contact is obtained be
tween mineral particle and reagent where they
are mixed in the moist condition, for this assures
by metallographical examination as well asrby
empirical or practical tests. In the case of non
metallic ores where it is desired to separate the
different minerals or different purities of the
10 same mineral, the ground particles may be ap
preciably coarser and still ?oat and separate.
No ?xed range of ?neness is required except that
the material must be in condition readily to pass
through the standard froth ?otation cell and
15 the exact amount or degree of ?ne grinding is
usually ascertained by observation or simple test.
The ground material is ?rst regulated as to
variable-?lm water content to control the thick—
the ?lming of the particle surface. and its conse
quent ?otation. Where the more water soluble
reagents are used the advantage in using the
improved method lies in the fact that they are
in a more highly concentrated condition and,
therefore, less reagent is needed and the action
on the particle surface is much faster and more
ness of water ?lm on and about the particles, or
20 certain particles, of the mix in accord with the
principles hereabove set forth and to best suit
the character of the materials and the nature of
the separation desired, whereafter it is mixed
with a reagent or reagents in comparatively con
centrated form. If the reagent employed is nor
mally a solid, it must be put into solution or
enough water must be present in the ore to effect
the desired solution and aid in the spreading of
the reagent. The reagents employed encompass
30 a wide range, depending on the physical condi
tion of the material to be treated and its metal
lographical and molecular structure. In certain
cases, it may sometimes be desirable to add a
small quantity of sulphuric or other acid prior
35 to or simultaneously with the addition of the
other reagent or reagents in order to remove any
oxidized ?lm from the surfaces of the desired
particles, or otherwise to help in the later ?ota
tion thereof. Also, appropriate neutral diluents
40 may be used to determine the viscosity and
spreading ability of the reagents. While an addi
tion of sulphuric acid has at times been found
desirable to clean particle surfaces and permit
better adherence of other reagents thereto, it may
be found preferable in certain cases to employ an
alkali to enhance the action of the reagents used
for ?otation. The addition of alkalies or acids
follows the same well-known facts as are now ap
plied to standard ?otation practice for hydrogen
60 ion concentration or, as it is better known, pH
control.
'
Some ores, such as the Florida phosphates,
as
certain manganese oxides, carnotite, and other
more or less sponge-like minerals, require not
only the water_regulation as herein described,
but the addition of inactive reagents to ?ll up
their pores before the addition and admixing of
the collecting reagents. Such inactive reagents
have no effect except that of lessening the cost
to and amount of the higher cost active reagents
65
.
positive.
19
The reagents are used in very small quantities,
such quantities being in the order of one one
hundredth of a pound per ton of treated mate
rial to 40 pounds per ton of such material, ac
cording to the nature of the material and the
15
degree of ?neness to which it is ground.
The material and the reagents should be thor 20
oughly mixed although no elaborate apparatus is
required for this purpose. The reagents seem to
spread by contact and in a comparatively ‘short
time will permeate and cover a large mass of
material. It has been found in certain cases 25
that mixing may be accomplished to a satis
factory extent by adding the reagents in small
amounts to the material as the latter is. fed to
one of various types of well-known mixing appa
ratus, it being necessary in many cases only to 30
bring the particles for a brief period of time into
contact with the reagent itself or with other par
ticles to which the reagent has adhered.
'
Repeated tests have de?nitely proved that mi
nute amounts of certain reagents can be made to 35
spread, by agitation, and cover the surfaces of a
large number of slightly moist ore particles of
varying sizes from ‘very ?ne to rather coarse. '
Different ‘materials have different adsorptive
powers for different reagents and, of any two 40
minerals, one has a greater adsorptive power
than the other for a certain reagent. The fact
that different minerals have these different pow
ers is most forcibly demonstrated when the ore
is only slightly moist and contains less than one 45
fourth of one percent of variable-?lm water, by
weight. While it is in this condition any re
agent added and mixed with the particles is in
an extremely concentrated condition as com
pared with standard froth ?otation practice. 50
These concentrated reagents are then able to
cover the particles of moist ore with a ?lm and
are immeasurably better able to attach them
selves directly to the surfaces of the particles by
adsorption.
-
55
Then, by continued agitation and contact of
the particles, this ?lm of reagentrsurrounding or
attached to certain parts of them is rubbed off
those particlesvhaving the lower adsorptive pow
ers for that certain reagent and adheres to, is 60
necessary for the ?nal separation. When such
ore is thus treated, the total amount of reagent
used, both active and inactive, is much less than
adsorbed by and covers with a ?lm those par
when the material is treated by present standard
other and, on contacting, the ?lm is transferred 65
from the surface of one mineral to the surface
methods.
,
The well-known ?otation reagents, including
collectors, frothers, sulphidizers, and activators
and depressants,‘ and others such, for illustra
ticles having thehigher adsorptive powers.
The continued agitation gradually brings the
various mineral particles into contact with each
of another.
Contact of the particles is all that -
is needed to make this transfer of reagent ?lm.
When the adsorptive, or other, needs of the
strongest minerals have been satis?ed, any extra 70
reagent is taken up on the surfaces of the next
tion, as the fatty acids and their derivatives,
70 the xanthates, sodium sulphide, pine oil, and
the like, have been found useful in treating a strongest mineralparticles and, when enough re
wide variety of minerals.
agent is present-to satisfy the adsorptive needs
The greatest difference in ?otative effect be - of all of the particles, all non-inhibited particles
tween the standard “wet” method and the im
75
will ?oat.
75 proved process is most often noticed where the
8
2,106,887
The following example will show how minerals
added to the cell or different reagents may be
of higher adsorptive powers for oleic acid and > employed, if desired. The exact method of add
regulated to less than one-fourth of one percent ing the ?otation reagents which were not orig
of variable-?lm water can abstract the ?lm of inally mixed with the moist ore is not essential
reagent from minerals of lower adsorptive pow
to the operation of the process and forms no part
ers and, therefore, be selectively ?oated:
of the instant invention.
‘
First-200 grams of —30 plus 100 mesh silica
sand regulated to {6th of 1% variable-?lm
10>
water was mixed for 5 minutes in a glass
bottle with 4 drops of oleic acid and 1 drop
of terpineol (35 drops equal 1 c. c.)
Second-25 gi'ams of the above was put in a ?o
tation cell. 24.5 grams ?oated.
15 Third-To the 175 gram balance of the sand was’
added 200 grams of pink potash feldspar,
—30 plus 100 mesh. The sand and feldspar
were mixed for ?ve minutes in the bottle.
'20
From this mix 25 grams was put in the ?ota
tion cell. 12 grams ?oated and this was 90%
. Because of the fact that the particles of the
ore to be ?oated have already been covered with
a ?lm of the reagent needed to modify the sur
faces and either prevent their being wet by water 10
or otherwise change the surface characteristics,
these particles are much more quickly ?oated
than if treated by standard ?otation methods.
This ease of separation and quickness of ?ota
tion will greatly reduce the number of froth ?o
tation. cells needed in the mill and thereby re
duce not only the installation costs but the costs
of operation in the ?otation unit as well.
The following examples of the practical appli
. cation of the improved method to certain min
Fourth.—To the 350 gram balance of sand and erals and ores illustrate the character of the re
feldspar.
‘
feldspar was added 100 grams of light blue
beryl. This had been crushed to —-20 mesh.
All were mixed in the bottle for 10 minutes.
25 grams were put in the ?otation cell and
4.5 grams ?oated which was nearly pure
actions and the results that may be secured.
Example 1.-—An ore containing chrysocolla
(CuSiO3.2HzO) and malachite having a quartz
gangue was crushed to pass a 20 mesh screen
and was water-regulated to 2% by weight of var
iable-?lm 'water and then mixed with the fol
beryl.
Flfth.—To 425 grams balance of sand, feldspar lowing quantity of reagents per ton of ore:v 0.5 lb.
and beryl was added 100 grams of —30 mesh ( sodium oleate; 0.6 lb. of 15% aero?ot; 2.0 lbs. so
30
crystalline limestone. All were mixed for dium sulphide. The mixture was put in a'fiota
10 minutes in the bottle and then the entire 1 tion cell and the following quantity of reagents
525 gram sample put in the ?otation cell. per ton of ore added to the cell; 0.25 lb. potassium
The concentrate was 94.5 grams of lime of xanthate and 0.1 lb. terpineol. The concentrate
was 3.6% by weight of the whole and assayed.
98% purity. '
-
These tests show how the sand, which had the
23.03% copper. The taillngs were 96.4% by
weight of the whole and assayed 0.23% copper.
original film of reagents on the particles and The recovery was equal to 78.7% of the copper.
would therefore ?oat, then had this ?lm ab
When this same ore was treated by standard wet '
stracted from it and adsorbed by the feldspar; the ?otation methods, only 6% of the copper was re
mix of sand and feldspar lost to the beryl and covered.
this last lost to the limestone. No other reagents
Example 2.-The ore treated was low grade
were added during the test and the ?lm of re
chromium oxide with silica gangue. The ore
agents formed by the 4 drops of oleic acid had to was crushed to pass a 30 mesh screen and water
be transferred from the surfaces of one mineral regulated to 3% by weight of variable-?lm water
45 tov the surfaces of the stronger as the latter was and then mixed with 0.2 lb. oleic acid and 0.3 lb.
added and mixed with the others.
terpineol per ton of ore. No reagents were added _
The length of time that the mixture stands to the ?otation cell. The ?otative concentrate
prior to its introduction into the ?otation cell' was equal to 6.8% 01' the weight of the ore and
has, in some cases, a very decided effect in the
assayed 47.31% C1'203. The tailings were equal
subsequent froth ?otation. In the case of some
very slightly moist silica sands containing pure
and impure grains, if the mixture is allowed to
to 93.2% of the weight of the ore and assayed
2.25% CrzOs, giving a recovery equal to 59.1%.
Treating the same ore with the same kinds and
stand for approximately ?ve minutes and then '
amounts of reagents by standard wet ?otation
introduced into the ?otation cell, none of the
grains will ?oat. But if the mixture is allowed
to stand for a‘ period of two hours after passing
methods produced only an 18% recovery of the
CrzO'a and a vconcentrate'assaying 16% Cr:O:.
Example 3.—An ore containing oxidized chal
through the mixing apparatus, the pure silica - copyrite (CuFeSz), bornite (CllzFeSa) and vari
grains are immediately ?oated to the top of the ous true oxides of copper with a quartz gangue
cell and the impure grains do not ?oat. Appar ' was crushed to pass a 20 mesh screen and water
ently, when the ,a?lnitive capacity of the grains regulated to 3% of variable-?lm water. The ore
is nearly satis?ed, it takes a longer time of con
was then mixed for five minutes with the follow
tact for the reagents to act on or replace the ing reagents in quantities per ton of ore as shown;
variable-?lm water to ?otatively modify the‘ 0.6 lb. of potassium xanthate, 2.4 lbs.,of sodium
grains sumciently to ?oat them.
The froth ?otation cell may be of any stand
ard and well-known makeadapted to supply the
requisite amounts of water and of air or other
gas now required under ordinary operating con
ditions. No special form of cell appears to be
70 necessary in order to practice the invention with
improved results compared to present day meth
‘ods. Other froth ?otation reagents may be added
to the cell either with the mix pretreated as above
stated or separately. The same kind of reagents
75 used in pretreating the mix or charge may ‘be
sulphide, 0.4 lb. of 15% aero?ot. The mixture
was put in a ?otation cell with water alone and
a concentrate consisting of bornite, copper oxides
and a little chalcopyrite was removed. After the
first concentrate was removed, the following re
agents per ton of ore were added to the ?otation
cell; 0.2 lb. of potassium xanthate and 0.1 lb. of
terpineol. The second concentrate was nearly 70
all ‘chalcopyrite with a little bornite. A total
saving of 94.6% of the copper was made in the
two concentrates which were nearly pure min
eral. The ?rst concentrate equalled 12.6% by
9
2, 108,887
weight of the total concentrate. The second con
centrate equalled 87.4% of the total concentrate.
Treatment of the same mix by standard wet ?o
in a dilute condition may be employed success
fully when the ore is treated directly and by
tation methods using the same reagents recovered '
quired in carrying out the improved method,
relatively concentrated reagents.
In general, no special drying operation is ref
only 74% of the total copper, the oxidized sul
phide particles and'the true oxides not ?oating although if such drying is required for any rea
son it will not interfere with exercise of the meth
with the standard methods.
This example shows how certain of the oxidized od unless the drying temperature employed on
the mix of ore and reagent is carried above the
and oxide grains of copper-ore could be easily sul
vaporizing or boiling points of the reagents.
phidized when a concentrated solution of NazS‘ j Where water-regulation to very low amounts of
was used and this material then ?oted by the
water is required, it might be found
xanthate.- The second concentrate would have variable-?lm
best to dry the ore by application of heat to that
come up with the ?rst if the full amount of xan
percentage of retained variable-?lm water de
thate had- been added at once. i
. .
sired, ‘or it might, in speci?c instances, prove bet 15
Example 4.—‘-B_eryl ore (Be3A1‘z(SiOa)6) assay
ing approximately 20% beryl and with a'gangue ter to entirely dry the ore and then add the
desired percentage of water, Commercial ex
‘ or _- matrix of feldspar and quartz was ground to
pediency
should of course control the degree of
pass a 20 mesh screen and-'water-regulated to
substantially 1% of variable-?lm water. Oleic water-regulation within the limits of practical
recovery desired, since, in certain instances, the
20 acid, approximately 0.25 lb. to ‘the ton of ore andv cost of_drying an ore for- removal of a slight
terpineol, approximately 0.1 lb. to the ton of ore excess of water might easily be greater than the
were mixed therewith for about ?ve minutes. added recovery resulting from such re?nement of
The mixture was then‘fed to a standard ?otation water regulation. The ore‘ can be ground while
cell and the froth concentrate from such cell moist and thereafter the reagent can be mixed 25
25 was practically pure beryl and contained over
95% of the beryl, leaving less than 5% of the
beryl in the tails. With the same ore treated by
standard wet ?otation methods and the same re
~ agents nothing ?oated.
Example 5.—Impure silica sand was passed
30
through a 20 mesh screen, water-regulated to
_ about 115th of 1% variable-?lm water and mixed
with 1.0 lb. o1’v oleic acid and 0.2 lb. of terpineol
per ton of sand.‘ This mix was allowed to stand
35 for two hours and was then put through a stand
therewith, or, as will be obvious, the reagent
can be mixed in the grinder with certain classes
of ore, during the grinding operation.
It is to be understood that the terms ores and
minerals, as used herein, are not restricted to 30
these materials in their natural state or condi
tion, but comprise the products of metallurgical
operations and concentrates from previous ?ota
tion processes and likewise many non-metallic
minerals.-
.
In view of the many changes, additions, omis—
ard ?otation cellv with water "alone. The pure sions and modi?cations possible, and indeed nec
sand ?oated in the froth ‘from the cell equalled,‘ essary, in the application of the improved meth
98.8% by weight of the total sand and the impure od to speci?c separations by those skilled in the
rejected sand not ?oated comprised 1.2% of the art, wherein no departure from the spirit and
40 total weight of the sand, the. ?oated sand being. essence of the invention is involved, it is to be
practically all pure-silica. ' Coarse silica sand can .
understood that the invention is limited solely
not be ?oated by standard wet ?otation methods. by the scope of the appended claims, rather‘ than
This last example shows how normally non
by any details of the foregoing exposition.
?otable silica can be ?oated if the variable-?lm
is kept low and also how two minerals, both
45 water
having a higher a?inity for water than adsorptive
power for oleic acid must carry only a very thin
?lm of variable-?lm water in order to effect a
_ separation therebetween in the ?otation cell. ‘
As shown in the foregoing examples, theim
50 proved method may be successfully employed to
treat a large number of desirable minerals readily
floatable thereby, which minerals are ?oated with
di?iculty, or not at all, when standard wet ?ota
55
tion methods are employed.
'
,
As illustrated by the examples set forth, less
reagent is required in practicing the improved
I claim as my invention-
'
l. The method of preparing sands, comminuted
ores and similar materials for separation by froth
?otation which includes regulation of the mois
ture content of the material between an upper
limit less in amount than will satisfy the ailin 50
itive capacities of all of the separated particles
and a lower limit determined by the amount of
moisture adsorbable to the material from the at
mosphere, and subsequent thorough admixture
with the moisture-regulated material of rela
tively minute quantities of selective reagents.
2. The method of preparing sands, comminuted
ores and similar materials for separation by froth
?otation which includes regulation of vthe mois
methods, which standard methods will not even ture content of the material to a variable-?lm 60
?oat
many
of
‘the
materials
?otable
by
the
im
60
quantity less than will satisfy the ailinitive ca
proved method. Furthermore, the improved pacities
of all of the separated particles, and sub
method is de?niteand positive in its reactions, sequent thorough admixture with the moisture
since the reagent is therein brought into direct
regulated material of relatively minute quantities
and intimate contact with the particles ina con
of
‘selective reagents.
.
centrated form instead of being disseminated
_3. The method of preparing sands, comminuted
through a relatively large body of water where
the contact of each individual particle with re-} ores .and similar materials for separation by froth
?otationwhich includes regulation of the thick
agent isamore or less a matter of chance.
A much wider range of reagents is permissible ness of water ?lm adherent to the material parti
cles so that the maximum moisture content is
by use of the improved method, since the reagent less
than will satisfy the a?lnitive capacities of
is applied directly to the surface of- the ore or all of the separated particles, and subsequent
mineral in a relatively'concentrated form. Re
thorough admixture with such moisture-regu
agents of a di?erent character which will not lated material of relatively minute quantities of
method than is exacted in the present standard
properly adhere to the ore or mineral in the pres
selective reagents.
75 ence of excess water or have any chemical e?ect‘
75
10
'
2,106,887
4. The-method of preparing sands, comminuted
ticles, thorough vadmixture with the moisture
regulated material of relatively minute quantities
of selective reagents, and agitation of the result
ores and similar materials for separation by froth
ilotationwhich includes effectively selective mod
i?cation of the adsorptive capacities of theme.
tcrial particles through regulation of the mois
ant admixture in a froth ?otation cell for sepa
ration of the desired particles.
ture content of the material between an upper
10. The method of selectively separating sands,
limit less in amount than will satisfy the a?ini
tive capacities of all of the separated particles,
comminuted ores and,‘ similar materials which
and a lower limit determined by the amount of ,
.10 moisture adsorbable to the . material from the
atmosphere,v and subsequent thorough admixture
with the moisture-regulated material of relative
ly minute quantities of selective reagents.
5. The method of preparing sands, comminuted
‘ores and similar materials for separation by froth
?otation which includes effectively selective mod
i?cation of the adsorptive capacities of the ma
terial particles through regulation of the mois
ture content of the ‘material to a variable-film
quantity less than will satisfy the a?initive ca
pacities of all of the separated particles, and sub
sequent thorough admixture with the moisture
regulated material of relatively minute quanti
ties of selective reagents.
'
6. The method of preparing sands, commi
nuted ores and similar materials for separation
by froth ?otation which includes e?'ectively se
lective modi?cation o! the .adsorptive capacities
of the material particles through regulation of
30 the thickness of water ?lm adherent to the mate'
rial particles within a total maximum amount
of water ‘?lm less’ than will satisfy the a?initive
capacities of all of the separated particles of the
‘ material, and subsequent thorough admixture
with the moisture-regulated material of rela
tively minute quantities of selective reagents.
7. The method of preparing sands, commi
nuted ores and similar materials for separation
comprises selective modi?cation of the adsorptive capacities of the material particles through
regulation of the moisture content of’ the mate
rial to a variable-?lm quantity less than will 10,
satisfy the af?nitive capacities of all of the sepa
rated particles of the material, thorough admix
ture with the moisture-regulated material of rela
tively minute quantities of selective reagents,‘ and ,
agitation of the resulant admixture in a froth ?o-_
tation cell for separation of the desired particles.
11. The method of selectively separating sands,
comminuted ores and similar materials’ which
comprises selective modi?cation of the adsorp 20
tive capacities of the material particles through
regulation of the thickness of water ?lm adherent
.to the material particles within a maximum total
amount of water ?lm less than will satisfy the
a?lnitive capacities of all ‘of the separated par
ticles of the material, thorough admixture wit-I17v
the moisture-regulated material of relatively mi- »
nute quantities of selective reagentaand agita-v '
tion of the resultant admixture in'a froth?ota+
tion cell for separation of the various particles.
12. The method of selectively separating sands,
comminuted ores and similar materials which comprises'selective modi?cation of- the adsorp- I
tive capacities of the material particles through
regulation of the thickness of water ?lm adher
ent to the material particles within 'a maximum
total amount of water ?lm less than will satisfy.
the a?initive ‘capacities of all of the separated
by froth ?otation which. includes effectively se
of the material, thorough admixture
lective modi?cation of the adsorptive capacities particles
with
the
moisture-regulated material of‘ rela
of the material particles through regulation of
tively minute quantities of selective reagents, 40
the thickness'of water ?lm adherent to the ma
terial particles within a total maximum amount continued agitation of such admixture while in
the moist condition to effective concentration of
of water ?lm less than will satisfy the aihnitive g the
reagents on and‘ about those particles of
capacities of all of the separated particles of the
material, and subsequent. thorough admixture
with the moisture-regulated material of rela
.30
greater adsorptive capacities, and subsequent agi
tation of the resultant admixture in a froth flo
tively minute quantities of selective reagents, ; tation cell for separation of the various particles.
13. The method of selectively separating sands,
and continued agitation of such admixture to
effective concentration of the reagents on and comminuted ores and similar materials which
comprises selective modi?cation of the vadsorp
about those particles of- greater adsorptive ca
tive capacities of the material particles through
regulation of the thickness of water ?lm adher
ent to the material particles within a maximum
nuted ores and similar ‘materials for separation
total
amount of water ?lm less than will satisfy
by froth ?otation which includes effectively se
lective modi?cation of the‘ adsorptive capacities the af?nitive'capacities of all of the separated 55
of the material particles through regulation of particles of the material, thorough admixture
with the moisture-regulated material of rela
the thickness of water ?lm adherent to the ma- '
terial particles within a total maximum amount tively minute quantities of selective reagents,
of water ?lm less than will satisfy the a?lnitive time-conditioning of such admixture while in
capacities of all of the separated particles of the the moist condition to effective concentration of
pacities.
'
'
8. The method of preparing sands,‘ commi
material, ‘and subsequent thorough admixture
with- the moisture-regulated material of rela
tively minute quantities of selective reagents, and
135 time-conditioning of such admixture while in the
moist condition to effective concentration of the
reagents on and aboutthose particles of greater
adsorptive capacities.
9. The method of selectively separating sands,
comminuted ores and similar materials which
comprises modi?cation of the adsorptive capaci
ties of the material particles through regulation
of the moisture content of the material below a
maximum less in amount than will satisfy the
ailinitivc capacities of all of the separated par
the reagents on -and about those‘ particles of
greater adsorptive capacities, and subsequent agi
tation of the resultant admixture in a froth ?o
tation cell for separation of the various particles.
‘14. The method of preparing sands, commi
nuted ores and similar materials for separation
by froth ?otation which includes the regulation
of the variable-?lm water to that amount which
prevents the adsorption of the selective reagents
by certain only of the mineral particles but per
mits such adsorption by the other mineral par 70
ticles, thorough admixture of the moist ore with
the desired reagents, and subsequent separation
of the particles in a froth ?otation cell.
15. The method of preparing sands, commi- 75
amass?
nuted ores and similar materials for separation
?lm water of the mixture to an amount less than
by froth ?otation which includes the regulation
will satisfy the a?initive capacities of all of the
material particles, and subsequent separationof
of the variable-?lm water to that amount which
prevents the adsorption of the selective reagents
by certain only of the mineral particles but per
mits such adsorption by the other mineral par
ticles, thorough admixture of the moist ore with
the desired reagents, continuation of contact be
tween the moist ore and reagents while still in
the moist condition a predetermined length of
time, and subsequent separation of the particles
' in a froth ?otation cell.
16. The method of preparing sands. commi
nuted ores and similar materials for separation
15 by froth ?otation which includes mixing with
the material that amount of combined water and
selective reagents such as will limit the variable
the particles in a froth ?otation cell.
17. The method of preparing sands, commi
nuted ores and similar materials for separation
by froth ?otation which includes the regulation
of the variable-?lm water to an amount less than
will‘ satisfy the a?initive capacity of the mate
rial, thorough admixture of the moist material 10
with neutral reagents to satisfy absorptive needs
of the material, thorough admixture of the con
ditioned material with collecting reagents, and
subsequent separation of the material particles
15
in a froth ?otation cell.
THEODORE EARL-E.
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