Flotation Characteristics of Ilmenite

The basic studies on the surface properties and flotation characteristics of ilmenite were made by electrophoretic, adsorption, contact-angle and floatability measurements. The isoelectric point of ilmenite is found to be at pH 5.6. By combining the results of electrokinetic studies and adsorption measurements, a clearer picture of the ilmenitesolution interface was observed. These findings were correlated with the floatability of ilmenite obtained by Hallimond tube tests. The general flotation characteristics of ilmenite are compared with those obtained for magnetite and rutile. It is indicated that the above three minerals, namely, ilmenite, magnetite and rutile, have very similar surface properties and flotation characteristics. Therefore, it is difficult to make an effective separation of these minerals by flotation. However, it is found that sodium orthophosphate acts as a selective depressant for magnetite in anionic flotation. Therefore, close pH control of the pulp in the presence of the phosphate ion enhances the possibility for a successful separation of these minerals.
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