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SGS’s experienced technical experts provide flotation circuit flowsheet design, pilot plant studies, audit services and equipment design and supply including:

  • Contact cells 
  • Flotation columns

These proven technologies are designed to achieve your objectives quickly and efficiently and provide you with flotation options to increase your profitability.

Column Flotation

Flotation columns work on the same basic principle as mechanical flotation cells – mineral separation takes place in an agitated and/or aerated water mineral slurry where the surfaces of selected minerals are made hydrophobic (water-repellent) by conditioning with selective flotation reagents. However, in column flotation, there is no mechanical mechanism causing agitation. As well, separation takes place in a vessel (known as a column) that is much taller than the width (or cross-section) of the cell. Air is introduced into the slurry in the column through spargers, which create a countercurrent flow of air bubbles.

Compared to traditional mechanical cells, column flotation is slower, but it allows for improved kinetics.

Column flotation offers many advantages including:

  • Improved metallurgical performance
  • Improved control
  • Less energy consumption
  • Reduced plant footprint 
  • Reduced capital requirement

Contact Cell Flotation

The flotation contact cell is a slurry aeration device with no moving parts. The contact cell consists of two main components:

  • The contactor is a chamber in which feed slurry and flotation air are brought together under pressure. Pressure is maintained by a restriction located at the downstream end of the contactor.  
  • Discharge from the contactor flows into the bottom of the separation cell, where the particle-bubble aggregates form froth for removal as an overflow. The uncollected particles are removed through an underflow line. As with a flotation column, the froth may be water washed meaning the contact cell can also be used as a cleaner cell.

The contact cell is mainly used in rougher flotation circuits. It is compact, highly efficient, simple to operate, and has low energy and maintenance costs. There are a number of other benefits and capital savings that can be obtained when installing contact cells including:

  • Major reduction of surging in the rougher circuit via use of surge sumps  
  • Improved control froth   
  • Reduced power consumption in regrind mills
  • Capital and operating cost reduction in cleaner circuit
  • Lower maintenance
  • Less rougher process control instrumentation
  • Potential power savings in the rougher circuit
  • Reduction in sampling and on-stream analysis
  • Reduced installed costs and footprint area

SGS is the most experienced and trusted organization in the mineral processing industry. We have conducted flowsheet design and pilot plant testing on thousands of flotation projects. Let our experts improve your flotation performance with our proven column and contact cell technologies.