Evaluation of the potential for using dielectrophoresis to separate minerals

Ballantyne, G. R. and Holtham, P. N. (2014) Evaluation of the potential for using dielectrophoresis to separate minerals. Minerals Engineering, 55 75-79. doi:10.1016/j.mineng.2013.09.009

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Author Ballantyne, G. R.
Holtham, P. N.
Title Evaluation of the potential for using dielectrophoresis to separate minerals
Journal name Minerals Engineering   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0892-6875
Publication date 2014-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.mineng.2013.09.009
Volume 55
Start page 75
End page 79
Total pages 5
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
• The application of dielectrophoresis to mineral processing is explored.
• The dielectrophoretic force was measured on quartz and chalcopyrite particles.
• Relationships were found between the force and particle size, shape, and position in the field.
• The test procedure described can be used to measure the permittivity of mineral particles.

The mineral processing industry requires alternative separation techniques to help deal with rising energy costs and decreasing ore grades. Dielectrophoresis is a little known mechanism potentially able to separate mineral particles based on differences in electrical properties. There are many areas of minerals processing that would benefit from the application of dielectrophoresis. These include early removal of gangue, recovery of ultra-fine particles, upgrading of flotation concentrates or simply as a laboratory analysis technique. However, a more thorough understanding of the dielectrophoretic force is required to effectively design a practical separator.

The aim of the work described here was to measure the dielectrophoretic force on single particles of chalcopyrite and quartz to determine the effect of particle size, shape and position in an electric field. The force was determined by measuring the deflection of a particle attached to a glass fibre positioned between a pin and plate electrode. The dielectrophoretic force was found to be proportional to particle size cubed and inversely proportional to the distance between the particle and the pin cubed. Particle shape also affects the experienced force, and strategies were investigated to minimise this source of variation. With the effect of these parameters fully characterised, the single particle test cell can be used to determine the permittivity of single particles of various composition.
Keyword Mineral processing
Electric fields
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 15 October 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre Publications
Official 2014 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 1 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 04 Nov 2013, 16:02:56 EST by Karen Holtham on behalf of Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre