June 2023
Volume 75    Issue 6

Eco-friendly collectors for flotation of fine hematite and malachite particles

Slabov, Vladislav; Garima, Jain; Larsen, Erik; Kota, Hanumantha Rao; Chernyshova, Irina


Biosurfactants are an attractive alternative to conventional, petroleum-based flotation collectors due to their eco-friendliness and lower toxicity. However, further research is needed to develop a comprehensive framework for their application in this emerging field. In this study, we evaluated the potential of biosurfactants as collectors for ultrafine (smaller than 20 μm) and coarser (38 to 90 µm) particles of hematite and malachite against quartz. Two sophorolipid biosurfactants — diacetylated acidic sophorolipid (ac-ASL) and diacetylated lactonic sophorolipid (ac-LSL) — were tested alongside sodium oleate (NaOl) and n-dodecyl-β-D-maltoside (DDM) in two-mineral flotation experiments. Our findings indicate that the development of selective biosurfactants that retain their efficacy with decreasing particle size can help improve the flotation of ultrafine particles. These findings can serve as a benchmark for the development of eco-friendly collectors for ultrafine mineral particles.

Full-text paper:
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2023) 40:475–492, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-023-00743-z


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