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Spodumene lithium extraction flotation process

254 14.Feb.2023 KZ Editor

The flotation process is a common process for extracting lithium from spodumene. For spodumene with different properties, the flotation process is slightly different, and the selection of flotation agents is also very particular. There are four main types of flotation lithium extraction processes:

1. Pre-deliming + flotation process

This method is a common beneficiation process for spodumene. Because in the flotation process, the performance of the collector, the ratio of the regulator, and the content of the slime will affect the beneficiation index of the spodumene.

Therefore, before the flotation process, the concentrator will pre-set the desliming process to avoid the influence of the slime, and Na2CO3 or NaOH can also be added to the pulp to adjust the pH. After desliming in advance, HP collector and CaCl2 regulator are added to the pulp, and Li2O and spodumene concentrate can be recovered by adopting a closed-circuit flotation process of one coarse, two fine and two sweeps. The flotation method can also be used for the pre-sliming treatment of spodumene, which can obtain a higher flotation index.

2. Alkali method without desliming + flotation process

This method is to add alkaline solution before the flotation of the pulp, and carry out strong stirring to achieve the purpose of dispersing the slurry and improving the flotation environment.

Finally, spodumene can be directly flotationed by adding a collector to the slurry. The concentrate recovery rate of this method is relatively high. At the same time, it can also be improved by selecting suitable collectors (oxidized paraffin soap, naphthenic acid soap, sodium oleate and salicylic hydroxamic acid), reasonable grinding fineness and number of beneficiation operations. Improve the grade of spodumene concentrate.

3. Spodumene reverse flotation process

When reverse flotation is used to enrich spodumene, Na2CO3 or NaOH is usually added to the slurry to adjust the pH to weak alkaline.

Afterwards, an appropriate amount of dextrin (or starch) is added to the pulp to selectively inhibit the spodumene, and then the amine collector is used to remove the quartz, feldspar and other gangue minerals in the pulp. The tailings after removal of impurities are spodumene concentrates. The spodumene reverse flotation method is commonly used in the roughing stage and the concentrate purification stage.

4. Fine particle agglomeration flotation process

In this method, after the collector is added to the slurry, the fine-grained minerals are agglomerated with each other in the high-speed moving fluid through the association of collector molecules, and finally form hydrophobic aggregates.

These fine-grained mineral agglomerates float up and are separated from the gangue minerals to achieve the purpose of recovering the concentrate. This method can be applied to the recovery of spodumene fine-grained minerals.

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