Oil agglomeration of weakly hydrophobic coals and coal/pyrite mixtures
Fine particle suspensions of various materials in water were agglomerated with heptane in a modified blender to determine the agglomeration characteristics of the solids. The materials included Upper Freeport coal, oxidized Upper Freeport coal, two batches of Illinois No. 6 coal, graphite, and iron pyrite. The response of these materials to oil agglomeration varied over a wide range and seemed to depend on their relative hydrophobicity. Treating the weakly hydrophobic materials with traces of sodium oleate greatly enhanced their response to oil agglomeration. The separation of mixtures of pyrite and various carbonaceous materials by selective agglomeration with heptane was also studied. While an excellent separation of graphite and pyrite was achieved, the separation of coal and pyrite proved elusive.
Reprinted (adapted) with permission from Energy Fuels, 1988, 2 (2), pp 145–150. Copyright 1988 American Chemical Society.