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Residual diesel range organics in process waters from laboratory fine coal flotation tests

Mining Engineering , 2015, Vol. 67, No. 8, pp. 67-73

Morris, J.; Sellaro, R.; Sarver, E.


Petro-diesel is a common collector for coal flotation, but the partitioning of diesel range organics (DROs) in process streams has not been widely studied. Preliminary research suggested that under normal dosing schemes total residual DRO contents in process waters should be limited to the sub-ppm water-soluble fraction (WSF). Further, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) should partition proportionately with DROs. The purpose of this study was to confirm these findings in laboratory flotation tests. Total DRO and specific PAH contents were measured in the waters associated with the concentrate and tailings streams. The results show that concentrate waters consistently had higher amounts of DROs than tailing waters. Moreover, the DRO contents in both streams generally increased with increasing diesel dosage. In line with preliminary research, DROs appeared to be limited to the WSF, and PAHs tended to partition proportionately with DROs. Under typical operating conditions, it appears that residual DROs should not present an environmental concern, but conditions should be avoided that allow significant overdosing of diesel.