Online measurement of factors influencing the electrostatic separation of mineral sands
Operational factors influencing the electrostatic separation of mineral sands were investigated in a laboratory separator. Measurements were collected online by means of an optical sensor using diffused reflectance spectroscopy to determine the mineralogical composition. The results have shown that the roll speed and potential were die dominant operating variables, collectively explaining more than 83% and 68% of the product grade and yield, respectively. In contrast, the feed rate, temperature and position of the plate did not affect separation. The effect of the ambient relative humidity, ranging from 10% to 45%, could not be assessed conclusively and at best appeared to have a weakly beneficial effect on the product grade. © The South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2006.