Novel sensor for mineral processing
The ever-growing demand for metals like copper, iron and gold has resulted in the need to recover these minerals from complex, low-grade ore deposits.
Most mineral extraction processes use the froth flotation method whereby desired minerals are separated from unwanted materials in ground-up ore using specialised flotation reagents. Precise control of these reagents is essential especially when processing complex ores. Given this need, this project sought to develop a sensor that could quantify the concentration of flotation reagents in process streams in real-time.
This sensor uses a mass-sensitive quartz crystal microbalance combined with a molecularly imprinted polymer which is a tailor-made recognition particle that can selectively capture flotation reagents from process streams. Capable of producing responses that can be calibrated for different flotation reagent concentrations, the fabricated sensor has the potential to significantly improve the control and, hence, the success of flotation processes.
Future energy and resources
Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials
Keshika Shalani Alagiyage