Effect of Solid Concentration and Particle Size on the Flotation Kinetics and Entrainment of Quartz and Hematite

Espoir Murhula, Mahamudul Hashan, Akira Otsuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Despite the importance of solid concentration in froth flotation, its effect on flotation kinetics and entrainment has rarely been studied. In this study, the flotation kinetics and entrainment in quartz and hematite single-mineral flotation systems as a function of the solid concentration and particle size were investigated using dodecylamine acetate as a collector. Kinetics modeling showed that the Gamma distribution achieved the best agreement with the experimental data, whereas the Classical and Klimpel models poorly fit the data (e.g., RMSE). The flotation rate constants (k) of both quartz and hematite at a higher solid concentration showed a concave shape, with the inflexion point at the middle-size range, whereas this trend altered at lower solid concentrations. Overall, quartz exhibited higher equilibrium recoveries (R) than hematite, which indicates its better overall rate constants. The degree of water recovery in both the quartz and hematite systems was higher at higher solid concentrations, but the hematite system exhibited higher water R than the quartz system, meaning that the entrainment of gangue could be higher in direct hematite flotation than the reverse one. Therefore, a higher solid concentration is associated with better overall quartz recovery and can reduce hematite loss by entrainment during reverse flotation. An inverse relationship was identified between the solid concentration and particle size in terms of the ratio of water recovery to the concentrate. In the reverse flotation of iron ore, refraining from achieving equilibrium recovery could help limit entrainment, but this was not necessarily the case in direct flotation. No entrainment model or method other than the Warren and Ross model approximated the overall trends of flotation at the finest size range (−38 µm). However, extending the Warren method to polynomial distribution led to an improved fit with the experimental results. In addition to the solid concentration, particle density and size were revealed to be key to developing new entrainment models. Finally, after the fast recovery period (true flotation) was over, the slow recoveries were mainly driven by the slow-floating water fraction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number53
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • equilibrium recovery
  • iron ore flotation
  • rate constant
  • solid concentration


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