Dense medium separation

Separations in a dense medium, also called ‘flotation ‘, make use of a liquid medium into which are plunged the components to be separated. This medium may be water, an organic liquor (laboratory only), a brine (calcium chloride or zinc type salts) or a suspension made from clay, sand, magnetite or ferrosilicon, the suspension thus behaving like a pseudo-fluid. The mediums cover densities from 1.0 to over 3.0, the latter being adjusted to an intermediary value to that of the components to be separated with a precision of (0.05). The heaviest  components flow in the medium whilst the lightest float and are thus recovered separately.

The CTP carries out separations at laboratory level in a liquor in order to study the potential of the technique or to assess the liberation meshes (granulo-densimetry). It has a pilot flotation unit of the vibrating drum variety, which allows the technique based on suspensions to be continuously tested.

Technique Type Medium Density Capacity Particle size
Dense liquors ZnCl2, Bromoform, Polytungstate 1 to 3.3 1 to 2 kg/h 75 µm to 20 mm
Floating drum Water, Slurry, Sand, Magnetite, Ferrosilicon 1 to 2.9 1 to 5 T/h 10 mm to 80 mm