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Minerals & Metallurgical Processing Journal  

Carbonate separation from sedimentary phosphates through bioflotation

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing, 2009, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 85-93

Abdel-Khalek, N.A.; El-Shall, H.; Abdel-Khalek, M.A.; El-Mahdy, A.M.; El-Mofty, S.E.


The amenability of carbonate separation from a sedimentary phosphate ore using a bioflotation process was studied. Two types of bacteria were chosen for this study. The experiments were performed using oleic acid as collector. The flotation experiments were carried out using statistical designs for optimizing the main operating parameters. A concentrate containing 0.78% MgO and 30.15% P2O5 with a recovery of 92.31% was obtained from a feed containing about 2.45% MgO and 27% P2O5. These specifications could not be obtained using conventional flotation experiments under similar conditions in the absence of bacteria. Measurements of zeta potential, adsorption of bacteria and collector, as well as froth power, were performed to explain the role of microorganisms in the surface modification of both dolomite and phosphate and in their interaction with the collector.

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