Mineral engineering is an interdisciplinary branch which includes many branches like physics, chemistry, math and sub branches like instrumentation, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, geology etc. Amongst the various separation/beneficiation techniques of mineral processing, froth flotation is one of the most important fines beneficiation technique, which depends upon the surface and colloid chemical phenomena as the basis of selectivity. The method of separation relies on the surface state and colloidal chemistry of the ore particles and chemical reagents. Adsorption at the mineral solution interface is of major importance for the behaviour of mineral particles in the solution and for successful flotation performance. Adsorption of simple ions determine the change of the particle surface and electrochemical properties of the pulp/slurry phase and therefore affect the colloidal stability and the adsorption behaviour of reagent on the mineral surface. This chapter describes in detail about the role, importance and application of colloidal chemistry in mineral processing especially froth flotation. Froth flotation will remain a key unit operation for the treatment of low-grade ore fines for the decades to come with the overarching challenge as the need of the hour is to modify and improve existing process conditions so as to maintain an acceptable grade and recovery response for the feed whose liberation is more finer, more complex association of minerals and of lower grade.
Part of the book: Colloids