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Recycling process water in sulfide flotation, Part B: Effect of H2O2 and process water components on sphalerite flotation from complex sulfide

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2012, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 192-198

Ikumapayi, F.; Sis, Hikmet; Johansson, B.; Hanumantha Rao, K.


Hydrogen peroxide production was measured during the grinding of a complex sulfide ore, and its oxidizing effect on solid surfaces was investigated using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) with diffuse reflectance attachment measurement. In turn, an attempt was made to correlate the formation of hydrogen peroxide, surface oxidation and sphalerite flotation. Additionally, in order to predict and minimize detrimental production problems due to the recycling of process water in sulfide ore processing, the effects of major components of calcium and sulfate species present in recycled process water and the effect of temperature on sphalerite flotation were investigated through bench-scale flotation tests using complex sulfide ores. The significance of process water species in flotation was studied using tap water, process water and simulated water containing calcium and sulfate ions. Formation of hydrogen peroxide was revealed during the grinding of the complex sulfide ore, and its formation was counteracted by diethylenetriamine (DETA). The FTIR spectrum of the pulp solid fraction showed varying degrees of oxidized surface species, which are related to the concentration of H2O2 analyzed in pulp liquid. Bench-scale flotation using two different complex sulfide ores showed that sphalerite recovery is better in process water than in tap water. Flotation results also indicated a varied recovery of sphalerite at different temperatures in either tap water or process water.