Flotation rates and zeta potentials of maceral concentrates of bituminous coals

L. Zhang, J. C. Hower, R. Q. Honaker, W. Liu, D. Men

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Maceral separation is one possible technique to expand coking coal resources, either by increasing the blending ratio of non- or slightly caking coal or rationally utilizing the coking coal according to the different behaviors of macerals in coking. The success of maceral enrichment for a given coal using flotation is dependent on the differences in flotation kinetic rate among macerals. This paper presents the flotation rates and zeta potentials of the vitrinite-rich and inertinite-rich maceral concentrates obtained from six coal samples of different ranks - from high-volatile B bituminous coal with mean random vitrinite reflectance (Rrandom) of 0.64 percent to low-volatile bituminous coal with Rrandom of 1.73 percent - using a float-sink procedure. The flotation results show that vitrinite-rich concentrates can be produced in tap water using froth flotation only with frother for the high-volatile B and A bituminous coal samples, but there was no good performance for the high-volatile C bituminous and medium- to low-volatile bituminous coal samples. The zeta potential results show that froth flotation could probably separate the high-volatile C bituminous coal samples well by adjusting pH, but there was no good performance for the higher-rank coal samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalMinerals and Metallurgical Processing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 2015, Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc.


  • Bituminous coal
  • Flotation rate
  • Maceral concentrate
  • Zeta potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Chemistry (all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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