• Molly Murnane

High-Pressure Slurry Ablation Technology: More Efficient and Effective than a Traditional Attrition

Attrition Scrubbers have been used in the mineral processing industry for well over two decades. This technology reduces particle size by scrubbing the material in an abrasive manner to remove the deleterious material surrounding desirable minerals. Attrition scrubbers are prevalent in mineral processing as a unit operation in the liberation process. Disa Technologies has developed a new and novel technology known as High-Pressure Slurry Ablation (HPSA) which has demonstrated to be more efficient and effective than traditional attrition scrubbing technologies in various cases.

What is High-Pressure Slurry Ablation (HPSA) Technology?

Disa’s HPSA technology, disassociates materials via particle-to-particle collisions of a slurry pumped through impinging nozzles. The HPSA process is purely mechanical and does not use any added chemicals, instead relying on physical collisions of particles to separate minerals. Additionally, HPSA enables higher mineral recovery in less time, significantly reducing energy consumption per ton.

How does HPSA directly compare to attrition scrubbers?

Disa conducted a case study to directly compare the efficacy of HPSA against a traditional attrition scrubber at liberating silica from gold process tailings. A composite sample from the mine tailings was put through XRD analysis performed by an independent outside lab. The composite sample was 50% quartz as evidenced in Table 1. Then both the HPSA technology and the traditional attrition scrubber were tested to increase the grade of the quartz with high recoveries.

The attrition scrubber was sampled at 5 and 40 minutes. The greatest quartz grade achieved was 90% at 16% recovery. The HPSA test unit was also sampled at 5 and 40 minutes in both high velocity and low velocity modes. The resulting data indicated HPSA low velocity mode achieved similar results to the attrition scrubber. However, the high velocity, 40-minute sample achieved an 84% grade at 46% recovery, as seen in Figure 1.

Overall, the HPSA technology outperformed the attrition scrubber in quartz recovery and has the potential to outperform attrition scrubbers in other mineral processing applications.

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