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Particle size distribution and water recovery under the natural hydrophobic response flotation of printed circuit board comminution fines

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2013, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 85-90

Otunniyi, I.O.; Vermaak, M.K.G.; Groot, D.R.


The natural hydrophobic response flotation method for beneficiation of printed circuit board comminution fines (PCB CF) still requires many studies to further basic understanding of the process and the flotation traits that the PCB CF presents. Varying particle size distribution (PSD) and water recovery under the scheme show that higher mass pull, obtained at the finer PSD, gave lower water recovery but higher value loss. The reverse also holds: the least mass pull at the coarsest PSD used, -106 + 75 µm, gave the highest water recovery per unit mass pull with the highest reverse recovery. This is unlike what obtains in primary resources processing, where higher water recovery is often with increased fines entrainment. The reverse recovery loss here is, therefore, more due to entrapment with the heavy mass pull characteristic of the method than to the entrainment of value with water. Other peculiarities of the system observed are discussed, with the goal of improving the performance of the process, and broadening the general knowledge of flotation systems.