Flotation is a process for mechanically
separating solid particles in water suspension cells, based on their
physico-chemical surface properties. It is widely used in the extraction
of metals from their ores, but also for different industrial purposes.
The objective of this project was the
development of an improved flotation system, especially aimed at
the treatment of sulphide ore in Southern Europe. A new column flotation
system uses double counter-current and a new bubble generator, allowing
much more efficient separation in terms of energy and chemical savings,
purity of concentrates and recovery of secondary products.
Columns are now operating successfully
in different European countries, including Spain and Sweden, bringing
both economic benefits to companies and environmental benefits.
Project partners note that while the new system was specifically
designed for mineral separation applications, it could also be adapted
to ionic flotation. One SME partner is now expanding its activities
in flotation columns sales and services outside of Europe.