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Purification of trona ores by conditioning with an oil-in-water emulsion

United States Patent

April 14, 2009
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
The present invention is a trona concentrate and a process for floating gangue material from trona ore that comprises forming an emulsion, conditioning the trona ore at a high solids content in a saturated trona suspension, and then floating and removing the gangue material. The process for separating trona from gangue materials in trona ore can include emulsifying an oil in an aqueous solution to form an oil-in-water emulsion. A saturated trona suspension having a high solids content can also be formed having trona of a desired particle size. The undissolved trona in the saturated suspension can be conditioned by mixing the saturated suspension and the oil-in-water emulsion to form a conditioning solid suspension of trona and gangue material. A gas can be injected through the conditioning solid suspension to float the gangue material. Thus, the floated gangue material can be readily separated from the trona to form a purified trona concentrate without requirements of additional heat or other expensive processing steps.
Miller; J. D. (Salt Lake City, UT), Wang; Xuming (Salt Lake City, UT), Li; Minhua (Salt Lake City, UT)
University of Utah Research Foundation (Salt Lake City, UT)
11/ 094,326
March 30, 2005
GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with government support under grant number DE-FG-03-93ER14315 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights to the invention.