Keywords: membrane microfiltration, copper recovery, flotation, ion exchangers, regeneration, zeolite, wastewater treatment, water pollution, environmental pollution, solid-liquid separation, particle suspension, Bulgaria, copper mine effluent, copper mining
The recovery of copper from a copper mine effluent in a hybrid flotation/microfiltration cell
A new hybrid process for cleaning wastewater, combining flotation and membrane microfiltration, was investigated. The hybrid process combined the advantages of both flotation and membrane separation: the flotation cell removed a large proportion of suspended solid particles, while the membrane module produced clean water permeate effluent. The hybrid cell performance has been studied in depth and reviewed in the current paper. The proof of concept for the hybrid solid/liquid separation process was investigated using an aqueous suspension of fine and ultra fine particles (synthetic adsorbents, ion exchangers). The feasibility of this combined process was investigated in the recovery of metal cations (copper) from a Bulgarian copper mine effluent.