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A kinetic study has been conducted to determine the influence of reagent type on flotation rates of ultrafine coal. Two ultrafine coal samples, the Illinois No. 5 (Springfield) and Pittsburgh No. 8, have been evaluated with various reagent types in order to derive the rate constants for coal (kc), ash (ka), and pyrite (kc). The reagents used in the study include anionic surfactants, anionic surfactant-alcohol mixtures, and frothing alcohols. In general, the surfactant-alcohol mixtures tend to float ultrafine coal at a rate three to four times faster than either pure alcohols or pure anionic surfactants. Pine oil, a mixture of terpene alcohols and hydrocarbons, was an exception to this finding; it exhibited higher rate constants than the pure aliphatic alcohols or other pure anionic surfactants studied; this may be explained by the fact that the sample of pine oil used (70% alpha-terpineol) acted as a frother/collector system similar to alcohol/kerosene. The separation efficiencies of ash and pyrite from coal, as evidenced by the ratios of kc/ka or kc/kp, tend to indicate, however, that commercially available surfactant-alcohol mixtures are not as selective as pure alcohols such as 2-ethyl-1-hexanol or methylisobutylcarbinol. Some distinct differences in various rate constants, or their ratios, were noted between the two coals studied, and are possibly attributable to surface chemistry effects. ?? 1989.
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The influence of reagent type on the kinetics of ultrafine coal flotation