Air Products South Africa has a long-standing relationship with the mining industry through the supply of industrial gases and chemicals. A variety of our products are used to assist with the efficient extraction and refining of a wide range of metals.
Gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, argon and hydrogen can be supplied either by dedicated, on-site supply plants or by truck delivery in liquid or gaseous form. We work closely with each customer to determine the most cost-effective supply mode based on volume, usage patterns, and purity or pressure requirements.
In addition to gases, Air Products produces an array of performance chemicals that serve the mining industry. Our Tomamine product line of ether amines is designed for mineral flotation in mining applications. These primary ether amines and ether diamines offer excellent low-temperature liquidity and a strong affinity for silica impurities.
Tomamine PA- and DA-series synthetic ether amines are produced by the reaction of an aliphatic alcohol with acrylonitile, followed by hydrogenation. In most cases, the resulting ether amine is partially neutralised with acetic acid to increase aqueous solubility. Their properties make them ideal for reverse flotation which is the process of selectively removing impurities during ore flotation by taking advantage of differences in hydrophobicity and zeta potential. Hydrophobicity differences between valuable minerals and waste gangue are increased through the use of surfactants and wetting agents. The selective separation of minerals makes processing complex ores economically feasible. The reverse flotation process is used for the separation of a large range of sulfides, carbonates and oxides prior to further refinement.