Investigating the effect of lip froth washing on coal yield during flotation of a high ash South African coal

Cherryl du Plessis, Vusumuzi Sibanda, Marek Dworzanowski, Gwiranai Danha, Tirivaviri A. Mamvura

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An investigation was conducted to evaluate the effect of lip washing on coal flotation at Anglo American’s Goedehoop South (GHS) fine coal plant in South Africa. In the test-work, performance of cells with lip washing system were compared with baseline cells without lip washing in terms of coal yield and coal quality. Yields observed with lip washing were significantly higher than those of baseline cells. Improvements of up to 15% were recorded. The product obtained at low flotation reagent dosages (1.30–1.45 kg/t) on lip wash cells had ˜ 16.85% ash content against ~17.65% with baseline cells, suggesting that higher yields could be achieved at superior qualities to those achieved with baseline cells. At higher reagent dosages (1.60–1.75 kg/t), coal yields further improved but quality reduced on lip wash cells. Calorific Values (CV) of coal products obtained by lip washing and baseline flotation were similar. When different coal particle size fractions were floated separately, the yield increased as particle size increased from 75 to 300 µm and then decreased from 300 to 500 µm for both baseline and lip washing flotation. Lip washing caused a marked increase in the yield for finer particles (< 300 µm) with optimum size class of between 212 – 300 µm. In addition, a much bigger increase in the yield was achievable with lip washing of lower quality coal. The ash content after lip washing of poor-quality coal were also comparable to the ash content after lip washing of good quality coal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-185
Number of pages13
JournalPhysicochemical Problems of Mineral Processing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Economic Geology
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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