Using Lignin for floatation

Professor of Biochemical Process engineering at LTU, Ulrika Rova, has proposed using lignin as an alternative eco-friendly measure to chemicals used in the floatation industry today.

Sources suggest Lignin previously did not have any application purpose in the forest industry and was more or less burned. Researchers at LTU specifically concentrated on adding value to the usage of lignin.

A process used to separate different metals from finely crushed ore in the concentration process is known as floatation. According to reports, the ore is placed in the tanks and a reagent is added to the separate valuable minerals from the waste rock. Experts suggest, chemical xanthate is used as an effective reagent, however, the application involves several environmental hazards which cannot be handled correctly.

Lignoflat, a preliminary study, funded by Swedish innovation agency Vinnova came to an end in September 2018. Owning to successful findings, the agency sponsored a full-scale innovation project, which commenced in May and ran through September 2022. Reports allege, Nouryon, the chemical manufacturer has also joined the project as a partner and assisted in reagent evaluation, along with conducting cost-effective manufacture and use.

The latest floatation collectors are known to be biologically degradable and can be sourced from Sweden, in comparison to xanthates, which are commonly manufactured in China.