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A Foam Bath for Ores
Posted Tue June 04, 2019 @02:53PM
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News A new EU project explores innovative technologies and concepts for recovering ultrafine particles of raw materials.

The FineFuture project, a consortium of 16 partners from industry and science, is to look at the flotation phenomena used to separate out vital raw materials and to research and develop new technological solutions.

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Research undertaken by the nine academic project partners mainly focuses on developing a better understanding of the mechanisms and microprocesses involved in fine particle flotation: two of the nine work packages concentrate on the physico-chemical and hydrodynamic aspects of processing. These include the binding mechanisms and frothing characteristics of the valuable particles, and turbulent flows in the flotation tank. The latter influence the collision frequency of particles and bubbles: adhesion is only possible when air bubbles come into contact with hydrophobized mineral particles.

No less than three groups at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) are working to improve the yield of fine particle flotation: not only the Instituite of Fluid Dynamics, but also colleagues from the Department of Computational Fluid Dynamics and a research group led by Dr. Martin Rudolph. Using model experiments, newly developed measurement methods and computer simulations, they investigate flow conditions in the flotation bath, which cannot be seen from the outside, and how particles, fluids and gas bubbles interact.

Some of the partners are members of the NetFlot network, which was established three years ago in a bid to pool competence on flotation at the European level and to strengthen its presence on the international arena.

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