ERA-MIN pilot calls

CELMIN Project receives funding from ERA-MIN pilot calls


Preparation of modified nanofibrillar celluloses (NFC) for flotation, flocculation and dewatering, and water purification in mining industry
Sub-topics areas: Extraction, Mine closure and rehabilitation, Minerals processing


Although the majority of dissolved solid substances in waters originate from ore, a small amount of pollutants comes from oil-based chemicals used in flotation as well as other metal concentration processes and dewatering, possibly creating toxicity problems when released in effluents. Thus, the purification of waters coming from both extraction and mineral processing during mining activities is needed. Mine-closure and rehabilitation issues have to be taken into account because acid drainages are also generated at abandoned mine sites. The CELMIN project aims to develop concepts for environmental-friendly effective green chemicals by the chemical modification of nanofibrillar celluloses (NFCs) to be functional in mining applications responsible for dissolved and suspended solids load.

Four different uses are studied:

  1. Use of hydrophobized NFCs as a collector in ore and mineral flotation.
  2. Use of anionized, cationized and hydrophobized NFCs as a dewatering agent in concentrate and tailings.
  3. Use of anionized and cationized NFCs as a flocculant in suspended solids removal from mining, process and seepage waters.
  4. Use of anionized NFCs as adsorbent in removal of heavy metals and ammonium from waters.

The results of the CELMIN project are expected to increase sustainability of primary non-energy resource supply by decreasing water pollution of mining industry, lower carbon footprint by using renewable raw materials instead of a fossil feedstock in chemical production and lessen the concern about environmental issues by using biodegradable chemicals in dressing of ores and water purification.

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