Organosolv lignin hydrophobic nanoparticles as low-carbon-footprint biodegradable flotation collectors


Luleå tekniska universitet


Ulrika Rova



Purpose and goal

In this project we aim to demonstrate the technology of a novel sustainable flotation process for selective extraction of base metals from sulfide ores, based on total or partial replacement of fossil-based xanthate flotation collector derivatives with biobased, biodegradable hydrophobic nontoxic organosolv lignin nanoparticles. The production and use of lignin biodegradable nanoparticles as flotation collectors is expected to have a great impact on the development of sustainable mining processes with both low- environmental impact and low-carbon footprint

Expected results and effects

1.Established separation process for efficient treatment of finely dispersed, sulfide polymetallic ores, avoiding the negative effects of the accumulation of xanthate 2.Well characterized lignin particles to be used as collectors 3.Report on efficiency of lignin particles as flotation collectors on various ores and correlation of their efficiency on specific metals with the chemical characteristics of lignin 4.Optimized flotation process for the new reagents 5.Report on the scale-up potentials of the process including environmental assessment of the process

Planned approach and implementation

The project is carried out for 36 months and is led by Ulrika Rova from Luleå University of Technology. The project includes partners with competence throughout the value chain; Sveaskog, Luleå University of Technology, Boliden Mineral AB and Nouryon (former Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry).

More information

Presentation slides from SIP STRIM Programdag 2019

Presentation slides from Swedish Mining Innovation Program day 2020