Large-Scale Dewatering of Phosphatic Clay Waste From Polk County, FL
Description:The Bureau of Mines has tested a dewatering technique for phosphatic clay waste. The technique utilizes a flocculant, polyethylene oxide (PEO), that forms strong, stable flocs that can be dewatered on a static screen followed by further dewatering on a rotary screen or trommel. In field tests conducted in central Florida, clay wastes containing approximately 4 pct solids have been consolidated to greater than 20 pct solids. The rate at which PEO-treated material continues to dewater in a mine cut also was monitored. Preliminary results indicate that PEO-treated material will dewater to 30 pct solids in 80 days. Pretreatment of phosphatic clay waste with lime lowers the PEO dosage required for dewatering.
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