Flotation process of micro-fine minerals have historically been hampered by slow flotation rate, poor selectivity, high reagent consumption, and low recovery. These disadvantages are mainly due to the large specific surface area attributed to the small-sized mineral particles. As such, research have revolved around enhancing their recovery by process intensification as one of the known effective methods. Micro/nanoparticles, on the other hand, possess many attributes, for instance, strong chemical activity, high reactivity, high surface free energy, and large adsorption capacity, all of which can contribute to improve the separation of micro-fine minerals. The mechanisms and preparation methods of nanoparticle collectors (NPCs) as well as ultrafine bubbles (UFBs) are described in this paper. Furthermore, the influences of NPCs and UFBs on the flotation of micro-fine minerals are also discussed. NPCs and UFBs are capable of providing hydrophobicity selectivity to the desired minerals to improve the flotation performance of mineral particles. This paper offers an overview of the underlying properties of NPCs and UFBs in intensifying flotation applications.
- Micro-fine mineral particle