Principal Investigators:
Felicia F. Peng
Mining Engineering
(304) 293-7680 Ext. 3308


  Among the detrimental impurities in phosphate ores, dolomite is considered the most troublesome for the down stream operations. Dolomite may cause higher consumption of sulfuric acid, reduce filtration rate, and lower P2O5 content in the fertilizer manufacture processes. Difficulties in separating dolomite from phosphate are widely recognized that the most of the dolomite is disseminated in phosphate mineral. Both of them are oxide type minerals and have the same calcium cationic component. They have similar electrokinetics, adsorption, and desorption behaviors, in the physical separation process such as flotation process. There are various processes developed, but no particular process is found satisfactory due to high MgO content, and/or low overall P2O5 recovery, in the final phosphate concentrate. In this proposed research project, the samples from Florida dolomitic phosphate minerals will be tested in an open flotation column. New selective fatty acid collectors for dolomite particles, and appropriate mixture of phosphoric acid/sulfuric acid depressant for phosphate particles, will be selected and used. The aim is to achieve a phosphate concentrate containing as high as 30% P2O5 and less than 1.0% MgO contents at high P2O5 recovery. The liberation analysis of dolomitic phosphate pebble will be conducted. The selectivity and frothability of the new selective fatty acid collectors will also be characterized by determining the dolomitic phosphate flotation rates and frothability measurement. Success of this research project will enable the mineral industry, to increase the phosphate reserve base. The use of this advanced dolomitic phosphate column flotation technology, can also lead to create the economic processes, for recovering the phosphate from once considered unusable phosphate minerals, and low grade phosphate reserves.


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