Sonically-Enhanced Microbubble Flotation Column

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-03ER83766
Agency Tracking Number: 72427S03-I
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1901 South Franklin, Butte, MT, 59701
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Lawrence Farrar
 (406) 723-2222
Business Contact
 Lawrence Farrar
Phone: (406) 723-2222
Research Institution
72427S03-I Industry discards approximately one-tenth of mined coal. Also, nearly one-third of the phosphates mined in Florida, one-fifth of the tungsten mined in the world, and one-half of the tin mined in Bolivia are discarded as unrecoverable fine material. Large amounts of energy are invested in grinding these minerals, much of which is lost as uneconomical mining byproducts that are eventually impounded, representing a misuse of valuable natural resources. This project will develop a novel froth flotation technology that should be well-suited for the efficient separation and recovery of fine particles less than 5 microns in size, and result in lower energy use. Phase I entails the design, fabrication and testing of an advanced, sonically-enhanced, column flotation technology. The technology will be evaluated using coal and copper minerals. Direct comparisons of its performance will be made against state-of-the-art froth flotation technology. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: Froth flotation is the most widely used unit process in the minerals processing industry with over three billion tons of mined ores and coal being floated annually. Also, flotation is used extensively for the beneficiation of coal ¿ virtually all new coal preparation plants incorporate flotation into their basic flow sheet. Non-mining applications include wastewater treatment, removal of oil from oil-water mixtures, de-inking of newsprint paper, sewage treatment, water purification, and soil washing, as well as a few other niche processes related to chemicals, plastics recycling, and food processing.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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