Investigation of flocculation properties and floc structure of coal processing plant tailings in the presence of monovalent and divalent ions


PHYSICOCHEMICAL PROBLEMS OF MINERAL PROCESSING, vol.56, no.5, pp.747-758, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 56 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.37190/ppmp/125070
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Communication Abstracts, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.747-758
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No


Low-rank coals are generally processed with wet methods including washing, flotation, etc. Fine-sized tailings of these processes are discharged to tailing ponds with a significant amount of associated water which contains a high amount of dissolved ions. These tailings should be dewatered employing coagulation/flocculation in terms of technological and environmental aspects. In this study, the coagulation/flocculation behavior of coal processing plant tailings obtained from Manisa, Turkey was investigated in the presence of monovalent (Na+, K+) and divalent (Mg2+, Ca2+) ions and an anionic flocculant (SPP-600). First, the coagulation properties of coal tailings were determined. Then, the flocculation experiments were carried out, and the turbidity values of the suspensions were measured. Moreover, the sizes of the flocs were determined using a laser diffraction particle size analyzer to analyze the strength of the flocs. The results of the coagulation experiments showed that while divalent ions were more effective at 10(-1) mol/dm(3), higher settling rate and lower turbidity values were obtained in the presence of monovalent ions at 1 mol/dm(3) concentration. The optimum flocculant dosage was obtained as 150 g/Mg from the flocculation experiments. The floc size and strength measurements indicated that the larger flocs were obtained with Na+ than Ca2+ in the presence of the flocculant. The strongest flocs were obtained at 10(-1) mol/dm(3) Ca2+ + 150 g/Mg flocculant. It can be concluded from this study that the coagulation followed by the flocculation method can be employed to obtain fast flocculation behavior and low turbidity for the dewatering of coal tailings.