Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mining Engineering

Committee Chair

Felicia F Peng


The separation of dolomite from apatite has been recognized as one of the most difficult subjects in mineral processing due to the similarities in their physiochemical properties. In this study, selective surfactants were used with a fatty acid soap collector to improve the flotation performance of separating dolomite from high magnesium phosphate ores.;Three surfactants, diethyl phthalate (DP), Tween-80 (TW) and derivative of sulfonate salt (DSS1) were used. Hallimond cell flotation was conducted using pure dolomite sample to determine the effects of various factors including dosages, particle size, Ca2+ ions and slimes on the dolomite flotation recovery. The results showed that the surfactants can significantly improve dolomite flotation performance by increasing collecting ability and tolerating the effect of calcium ions and slime contents.;The stirrer-tank cell batch flotation tests were carried out using two natural high magnesium phosphate ore samples containing 3.3% and 1.5% MgO. The test results showed that the surfactant DP could improve dolomite flotation at low dosages, and DSS1 could enhance the separation of dolomite from phosphate by improving both collecting ability and flotation selectivity. When 10% of DSS1 was used with the fatty acid soap as collector, at least 10% more dolomite can be removed with less P2O5 loss. The effectiveness of the surfactant DSS1 in enhancing dolomite flotation was further demonstrated in modified packed column flotation with natural dolomitic phosphate ore sample.;The addition of the surfactant DSS1 into fatty acid soap collector could improve its frothability and froth stability, and reduce the bubble size. It has been found that the dolomite flotation performance has a close relationship with the frothability and froth stability of the collector.