Effect of dissolved metal sulphates on gas-liquid oxygen transfer in agitated quartz and pyrite slurries

E Zuidervaart*, MA Reuter, RH Heerema, RGJM Van der Lans, JJ Derksen

*Corresponding author for this work

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6 Citations (Scopus)


A previous study on mass transfer in agitated three phase systems showed that for quartz slurries the volumetric oxygen transfer coefficient k(L)a [s(-1)] decreases with increasing solids fraction, whereas pyrite particles increase the k(L)a value. The present study was conducted in continuation of these results and attempts to explain why the addition of pyrite particles resulted in an increase in k(L)a. For this purpose, the effect of ionic strength, mineral density and oxygen consumption due to homogeneous reactions was examined. Neither the high density of pyrite nor the oxygen consumption could offer an explanation for the increased k(L)a values obtained for pyrite slurries. The variable mineral density did not affect k(L)a at all, while the consumption of oxygen was not large enough to cause all enhancement of k(L)a. However, by reducing bubble coalescence frequency and thus bubble size, the ionic strengths found for pyrite slurries could partially explain the increase in k(L)a. For 15 vol.% pyrite slurries, the ionic strengths proved to account for at least 60% of the enhancement. The variable(s) and/or mechanism(s) causing the remaining 40% of the enhancement could not be identified (yet). To demonstrate the effect of ionic strength as such, various electrolytes (viz. CuSO4, FeSO4, ZnSO4 and Al-2(SO4)(3)) were added to a 15 vol.% quartz slurry. For all metal sulphates, increasing the ionic strength lip to about 0.25 mol/l resulted in an increase of k(L)a by up to a factor 2.5. (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1555-1564
Number of pages10
JournalMineral Engineering
Issue number14-15
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000


  • sulphide ores
  • gold ores
  • oxidation
  • biooxidation


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