Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

MS Metallurgy


Metallurgical Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Courtney Young

First Advisor

Dr. Richard LaDouceur

Second Advisor

Dr. Mario Caccia


Column flotation was phenomenologically investigated with Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT) as an uninterrupted instrument to measure gas holdup. Two-phase tests were performed to use the measurements for examining gas dispersion. Results were found to duplicate the findings in a previous thesis. With confidence attained in experimental procedures, three-phase tests were then performed to compare gas holdup with hydrophobic and hydrophilic solids. Hydrophobic solids included talc as well as dolomite with dodecyl amine (DDA) collector. Hydrophilic solids included dolomite as well as talc with carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) depressant. Variables throughout the research included frother concentration and sparger size. Results showed gas holdup for the hydrophobic systems was greater than that determined for hydrophilic systems. Furthermore, both systems showed the gas holdup increased with increasing frother concentration and increasing sparger size. When oleic acid (OA) was used as collector with dolomite for comparing to dolomite with DDA, the gas holdup increased further and was attributed to OA having frothing capability which is well-known. Gas holdup values were also used to explain gas dispersion and bubble size measurements emphasizing the importance of bubble-particle collisions and attachments for hydrophobic systems and the lack thereof in hydrophilic systems. Future studies on column flotation will benefit regarding computational modeling and use of collectors and collector blends on ores containing rare earth elements (REEs).

Included in

Metallurgy Commons