Evaluation of frother types for improved flotation recovery and selectivity

Qingqing Huang, Xinbo Yang, Rick Q. Honaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A laboratory study was conducted to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of nine different frother types when used in a three-phase, continuously operating froth flotation system. The frothers included several that are commonly used in the industry (e.g., MIBC, 2EH, and F-1) as well as unique frother types (e.g., F-3). The tests were conducted in a 5-cm diameter laboratory flotation column that provided near plug-flow mixing conditions due to a length-to-diameter ratio of around 50: 1. Test results indicate that F-1, MIBC, and MPC (in order of decreasing effectiveness) provided the weakest performance in terms of combustible recovery while F-2, MAC, and 2EH were the top three generating the highest separation efficiencies. When processing ultrafine coal, the ash content of the flotation concentrate ranged from 10% to 15% while recovering over 80% of the combustible material. F-3, F-4, and DIBC provided over 80% recovery of combustibles at the expense in the amount of hydraulic entrainment. The flotation performances were also closely examined in accordance with the fundamental properties of the nine tested frothers, and their correlations were addressed in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Article number590
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Column flotation
  • Entrainment
  • Frothers
  • Recovery
  • Selectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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