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Comparative analysis of the effect of microwave pretreatment on the milling and liberation characteristics of mineral matters of differentmorphologies

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2017, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 65-75

Singh, V.; Venugopal, R.; Tripathy, S.K.; Saxena, V.K.



This study was carried out to understand the impact of variation in material morphology on the efficacy of microwave pretreatment. Three different types of mineral matter – coal, iron ore and manganese ore – were treated with microwaves at different energy levels, from 180 to 900 W, for different time durations of one to five minutes. The treated samples were subjected to microscopic, milling and liberation studies. Coal is a porous and amorphous material with low dielectric constant, and grinding of the microwave-pretreated coal samples resulted in an 18.18 percent reduction in the 80 percent of passing particle size, or d80, and a 17.1 percent increase in carbon recovery. The microwave-pretreated soft and friable manganese ore samples showed a 47.82 percent reduction in d80 during grinding and higher manganese recovery of 42.46 percent during liberation analysis. The microwave pretreatment and milling of hard and banded iron ore reduced the d80 by 20.83 percent, but no improvement was observed in mineral liberation. Coal showed better results during treatment at lower energy levels of 180 W for one to three minutes, whereas the minerals needed higher energy of 900 W for five minutes. Particle size analysis indicated rapid size reduction up to an energy input of 25 Wh. This effect diminished with increased energy input.

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