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Title:
METHOD FOR CONSTRUCTING A FLOTATION APPARATUS, FLOTATION APPARATUS, METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR FLOTATION AND USE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/103332
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
The invention relates to a method for constructing a flotation apparatus (1), to flotation apparatus (1), to a system for flotation, and to a connection arrangement (10) for use in the method or in the flotation apparatus (1). The flotation apparatus comprises a flotation vessel (2) and a cover (3) for closing an upwards open opening (4) of the flotation vessel (2), wherein the cover (3) and the flotation vessel (2) limits a vessel space (5) for receiving fluid, and an agitating means (6) having a rotatable axis extending through a first aperture (8) in the cover (3). The rotatable shaft (7) is rotatable supported at a bearing housing (9) outside the vessel space (5). A connection arrangement (10) surrounds the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3).

Inventors:
PELTOLA, Aleksi (Vuoriharjuntie 10 L 14, Espoo, 02320, FI)
GRAU, Rodrigo (Opiskelijantie 10, Pori, 28600, FI)
Application Number:
FI2016/050873
Publication Date:
June 22, 2017
Filing Date:
December 15, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
OUTOTEC (FINLAND) OY (Rauhalanpuisto 9, Espoo, FI-02230, FI)
International Classes:
B03D1/04; B03D1/16
Foreign References:
EP0224762A21987-06-10
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BOCO IP OY AB (Itämerenkatu 5, Helsinki, 00180, FI)
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Claims:
Claims

1. A method for constructing a flotation apparatus (1), wherein the method comprising

providing a flotation vessel (2) and a cover (3) for closing an upwards open opening of the flotation vessel (2), wherein the cover (3) and the vessel limiting a vessel space (5) for receiving fluid,

providing an agitating means (6) having a rotatable shaft (7),

arranging the rotatable shaft (7) of the agitating means (6) to extend through a first aperture (8) in the cover (3), and

supporting the rotatable shaft (7) at a bearing housing (9) outside the vessel space (5) characterized

by providing a connection arrangement (10) that surrounds the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3), and

by attaching the connection arrangement (10) to the bearing housing (9) and to the cover (3) so that the connection arrangement (10) hermetically sealing the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3).

2. The method according to claim 1, characterized

by providing a connection arrangement (10) comprising a connection piece (11) surrounding the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3).

3. The method according to claim 2, characterized

by the connection piece (11) that is provided comprising at an end facing the bearing housing (9) a first opening (12) for the rotatable shaft (7), and

by the connection piece (11) that is provided comprising at an end facing the vessel space (5) of the flotation vessel (2) a second opening (13) for the rotatable shaft (7).

4. The method according to claim 3, characterized

by the connection piece (11) that is provided comprising a hollow truncated cone (14) surrounding the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3) the connection piece (11), so that the hollow truncated cone (14) tapers towards the bearing housing (9), so that the connection piece (11) having at the end facing the bearing housing (9) the first opening (12) for the rotatable shaft (7), and so that the connection piece (11) having at the end facing the vessel space (5) of the flotation vessel (2) the second opening (13) for the rotatable shaft (7).

5. The method according to claim 3 or 4, characterized

by the connection piece (11) that is provided comprising at least two connection piece parts (15) releasable connected to each other so that division planes (16) between said least two connection piece parts (15) extending between the first opening (12) and the second opening (13).

6. The method according to any of the claims 2 to 5, characterized

by the connection piece (11) that is provided comprising a first flange (17) at the end facing the bearing housing (9), and

by releasable fastening the connection piece (11) to the bearing housing (9) by using the first flange (17).

7. The method according to any of the claims 1 to 6, characterized

by the connection arrangement (10) that is provided comprising a bellow arrangement (18) surrounding the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3).

8. The method according to claim 7, characterized

by arranging the bellow arrangement (18) between the cover (3) and the connection piece (11), and

by arranging the connection piece (11) between the bearing housing (9) and the bellow arrangement (18),

9. The method according to claim 8, characterized

by attaching the bellow arrangement (18) to the connection piece (11) by means of a second flange (19), and

by attaching the bellow arrangement (18) to the cover (3) by means of a third flange (20).

10. The method according to claim 9, characterized

by connecting the second flange (19) being with the third flange (20) by means of a travel limiter (21) to limit the travel of the second flange (19) with respect to the third flange (20).

11. The method according to any of the claims 1 to 10, characterized

by connecting a gas feeding means (23) in fluid connection with the vessel space (5).

12. The method according to claim 11, characterized

by providing a gas feeding means (23) comprising a gas feeding duct (26) in the rotatable shaft (7) of the agitating means (6), outside the vessel space (5) a gas inlet (27) for feeding gas into the gas feeding duct (26), and inside the vessel space (5) a gas outlet (25) for feeding gas from the gas feeding duct (26) into the vessel space (5).

13. The method according to claim 12, characterized

by the bearing housing (9) being arranged between the gas inlet (27) and the cover (3)

14. The method according to claim 11 or 12, characterized

by supporting the rotatable shaft (7) additionally at an additional bearing housing (28) so that the gas inlet (27) is situated between the bearing housing (9) and the additional bearing housing (28).

A notation apparatus (1) comprising

a flotation vessel (2) and a cover (3) for closing an upwards open opening (4) of the flotation vessel (2) , wherein the cover (3) and the flotation vessel (2) limiting a vessel space (5) for receiving fluid, and

an agitating means (6) having a rotatable axis extending through a first aperture (8) in the cover (3),

wherein the rotatable shaft (7) being rotatable supported at a bearing housing (9) outside the vessel space (5),

characterized

by a connection arrangement (10) surrounding the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3), and

by the connection arrangement (10) being attached to the bearing housing (9) and to the cover (3) so that the connection arrangement (10) hermetically sealing the rotatable shaft (7).

16. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 15, characterized by the connection arrangement (10) comprising a connection piece (11) surrounding the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3)

17. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 16, characterized

by the connection piece (11) having at the end facing the bearing housing (9) a first opening (12) for the rotatable shaft (7), and

by the connection piece (11) having at the end facing the vessel space (5) of the flotation vessel (2) a second opening (13) for the rotatable shaft (7).

18. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 17, characterized

by the connection piece (11) comprising a hollow truncated cone (14),

by the connection piece (11) tapering towards the bearing housing (9),

by the connection piece (11) having at the end facing the bearing housing (9) the first opening (12) for the rotatable shaft (7), and

by the connection piece (11) having at the end facing the vessel space (5) of the flotation vessel (2) the second opening (13) for the rotatable shaft (7).

19. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 17 or 18, characterized

by the connection piece (11) comprising at least two connection piece parts (15) releasable connected to each other, and

by division planes (16) between said least two connection piece parts (15) extending between the first opening (12) and the second opening (13).

20. The flotation apparatus (1) according to any of the claims 17 to 19, characterized

by the connection piece (11) comprising a first flange (17) at the end facing the bearing housing (9) for releasable fastening the connection piece (11) to the bearing housing (9).

21. The flotation apparatus (1) according to any of the claims 17 to 20, characterized

by the connection arrangement (10) comprising a bellow arrangement (18) surrounding the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3).

22. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 21, characterized

by the bellow arrangement (18) being arranged between the cover (3) and the connection piece (11), and

by the connection piece (11) being arranged between the bearing housing (9) and the bellow arrangement (18).

23. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 22, characterized

by the bellow arrangement (18) being attached to the connection piece (11) by means of a second flange (19), and

by the bellow arrangement (18) being attached to the cover (3) by means of a third flange

(20).

24. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 23, characterized

by the second flange (19) being connected with the third flange (20) by means of a travel limiter (21) configured to limit the travel of the second flange (19) with respect to the third flange (20).

25. The flotation apparatus (1) according to any of the claims 15 to 24, characterized

by the apparatus comprising gas feeding means (23) for feeding gas into the vessel space

(5).

26. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 25, characterized

by gas feeding means (23) comprising a gas feeding duct (26) in the rotatable shaft (7) of the agitating means (6), outside the vessel space (5) a gas inlet (27) for feeding gas into the gas feeding duct (26), and inside the vessel space (5) a gas outlet (25) for feeding gas from the gas feeding duct (26) into the vessel space (5).

27 The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 26, characterized

by the bearing housing (9) being arranged between the gas inlet (27) and the cover (3). 28. A system for flotation, comprising a flotation apparatus (1) according to any of the claims 15 to 27.

29. A connection arrangement (10) for use in a method according to any of the claims 1 to 14 or in a flotation apparatus (1) according to any of the claims 15 to 27, characterized

by comprising a connection piece (11),

by having at a first end a first opening (12) for the rotatable shaft (7) and having at a second end a second opening (13) for the rotatable shaft (7),

by the connection piece (11) comprising at least two connection piece parts (15) releasable connected to each other,

by division planes (16) between said least two connection piece parts (15) extending between the first opening (12) and the second opening (13),

by the connection piece (11) comprising a first flange (17) at the first end for releasable fastening the connection piece (11) to the bearing housing (9), and

by the connection piece (11) comprising a second flange (19) at the second end housing for releasable fastening the connection piece (11) to a bellow arrangement (18).

30. Use of the method according to any of the claims 1 to 14 or the flotation apparatus according to any of the claims 15 to 27 in a flotation process of a slurry having a density that is between 1100 and 1600 kg /m3, preferably between 1200 and 1400 kg /m3.

31. Use of the method according to any of the claims 1 to 14 or the flotation apparatus according to any of the claims 15 to 27 for creating a pressure difference.

32. Use of the method according to any of the claims 1 to 14 or the flotation apparatus according to any of the claims 15 to 27 for separation of minerals.

33. A method for constructing a flotation apparatus (1), wherein the method comprising

providing a flotation vessel (2) and a cover (3) for closing an upwards open opening of the flotation vessel (2), wherein the cover (3) and the vessel limiting a vessel space (5) for receiving fluid,

providing an agitating means (6) having a rotatable shaft (7),

arranging the rotatable shaft (7) of the agitating means (6) to extend through a first aperture (8) in the cover (3), and

supporting the rotatable shaft (7) at a bearing housing (9) outside the vessel space (5) characterized

by providing a connection arrangement (10) that surrounds the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3).

34. The method according to claim 33, characterized

by attaching the connection arrangement (10) to the bearing housing (9).

35. The method according to claim 33 or 34, characterized

by attaching the connection arrangement (10) to the cover (3).

36. The method according to claim 33, characterized

by attaching the connection arrangement (10) to the bearing housing (9) and to the cover (3) so that the connection arrangement (10) hermetically sealing the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3).

37. The method according to any of the claims 33 to 36, characterized

by providing a connection arrangement (10) comprising a connection piece (11) surrounding the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3).

38. The method according to claim 37, characterized

by the connection piece (11) that is provided comprising at an end facing the bearing housing (9) a first opening (12) for the rotatable shaft (7), and

by the connection piece (11) that is provided comprising at an end facing the vessel space (5) of the flotation vessel (2) a second opening (13) for the rotatable shaft (7).

39. The method according to claim 38, characterized

by the connection piece (11) that is provided comprising a hollow truncated cone (14) surrounding the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3) the connection piece (11), so that the hollow truncated cone (14) tapers towards the bearing housing (9), so that the connection piece (11) having at the end facing the bearing housing (9) the first opening (12) for the rotatable shaft (7), and so that the connection piece (11) having at the end facing the vessel space (5) of the flotation vessel (2) the second opening (13) for the rotatable 15 shaft (7).

40. The method according to claim 38 or 39, characterized

by the connection piece (11) that is provided comprising at least two connection piece parts (15) releasable connected to each other so that division planes (16) between said least two connection piece parts (15) extending between the first opening (12) and the second opening (13).

41. The method according to any of the claims 37 to 40, characterized

by the connection piece (11) that is provided comprising a first flange (17) at the end facing the bearing housing (9), and

by releasable fastening the connection piece (11) to the bearing housing (9) by using the first flange (17).

42. The method according to any of the claims 33 to 41, characterized

by the connection arrangement (10) that is provided comprising a bellow arrangement (18) surrounding the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3).

43. The method according to any of the claims 37 to 41 and claim 42, characterized

by arranging the bellow arrangement (18) between the cover (3) and the connection piece

(11), and

by arranging the connection piece (11) between the bearing housing (9) and the bellow arrangement (18), 44. The method according to claim 43, characterized

by attaching the bellow arrangement (18) to the connection piece (11) by means of a second flange (19), and

by attaching the bellow arrangement (18) to the cover (3) by means of a third flange (20).

The method according to any of the claims 33 to 44, characterized

by connecting a gas feeding means (23) in fluid connection with the vessel space (5).

46. The method according to claim 45, characterized

by providing a gas feeding means (23) comprising a gas feeding duct (26) in the rotatable shaft (7) of the agitating means (6), outside the vessel space (5) a gas inlet (27) for feeding gas into the gas feeding duct (26), and inside the vessel space (5) a gas outlet (25) for feeding gas from the gas feeding duct (26) into the vessel space (5).

47. The method according to claim 46, characterized

by the bearing housing (9) being arranged between the gas inlet (27) and the cover (3)

48. The method according to claim 46 or 47, characterized

by supporting the rotatable shaft (7) additionally at an additional bearing housing (28) so that the gas inlet (27) is situated between the bearing housing (9) and the additional bearing housing (28).

49. A flotation apparatus (1) comprising

a flotation vessel (2) and a cover (3) for closing an upwards open opening (4) of the flotation vessel (2) , wherein the cover (3) and the flotation vessel (2) limiting a vessel space (5) for receiving fluid, and

an agitating means (6) having a rotatable axis extending through a first aperture (8) in the cover (3),

wherein the rotatable shaft (7) being rotatable supported at a bearing housing (9) outside the vessel space (5),

characterized

by a connection arrangement (10) surrounding the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3). 50. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 49, characterized by the connection arrangement (10) being attached to the bearing housing (9).

51. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 49 or 50, characterized by the connection arrangement (10) being attached to the cover (3).

52. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 51, characterized by the connection arrangement (10) being attached to the bearing housing (9) and to the cover (3) so that the connection arrangement (10) hermetically sealing the rotatable shaft (7). 53. The flotation apparatus (1) according to any of the claims 49 to 52, characterized by the connection arrangement (10) comprising a connection piece (11) surrounding the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3)

54. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 53, characterized

by the connection piece (11) having at the end facing the bearing housing (9) a first opening (12) for the rotatable shaft (7), and

by the connection piece (11) having at the end facing the vessel space (5) of the flotation vessel (2) a second opening (13) for the rotatable shaft (7).

55. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 54, characterized

by the connection piece (11) comprising a hollow truncated cone (14),

by the connection piece (11) tapering towards the bearing housing (9),

by the connection piece (11) having at the end facing the bearing housing (9) the first opening (12) for the rotatable shaft (7), and

by the connection piece (11) having at the end facing the vessel space (5) of the flotation vessel (2) the second opening (13) for the rotatable shaft (7).

56. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 54 or 55, characterized

by the connection piece (11) comprising at least two connection piece parts (15) releasable connected to each other, and

by division planes (16) between said least two connection piece parts (15) extending between the first opening (12) and the second opening (13).

57. The flotation apparatus (1) according to any of the claims 54 to 55, characterized

by the connection piece (11) comprising a first flange (17) at the end facing the bearing housing (9) for releasable fastening the connection piece (11) to the bearing housing (9).

58. The flotation apparatus (1) according to any of the claims 49 to 57, characterized

by the connection arrangement (10) comprising a bellow arrangement (18) surrounding the rotatable shaft (7) between the bearing housing (9) and the cover (3).

59. The flotation apparatus (1) according to any of the claims 54 to 57 and claim 58, characterized

by the bellow arrangement (18) being arranged between the cover (3) and the connection piece (11), and

by the connection piece (11) being arranged between the bearing housing (9) and the bellow arrangement (18).

60. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 59, characterized

by the bellow arrangement (18) being attached to the connection piece (11) by means of a second flange (19), and by the bellow arrangement (18) being attached to the cover (3) by means of a third flange

(20).

61. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 60, characterized

by the second flange (19) being connected with the third flange (20) by means of a travel limiter (21) configured to limit the travel of the second flange (19) with respect to the third flange (20).

62. The flotation apparatus (1) according to any of the claims 49 to 61, characterized

by the apparatus comprising gas feeding means (23) for feeding gas into the vessel space

(5).

63. The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 62, characterized

by gas feeding means (23) comprising a gas feeding duct (26) in the rotatable shaft (7) of the agitating means (6), outside the vessel space (5) a gas inlet (27) for feeding gas into the gas feeding duct (26), and inside the vessel space (5) a gas outlet (25) for feeding gas from the gas feeding duct (26) into the vessel space (5).

64 The flotation apparatus (1) according to claim 63, characterized

by the bearing housing (9) being arranged between the gas inlet (27) and the cover (3).

65. A system for flotation, comprising a flotation apparatus (1) according to any of the claims 49 to 64. 66. A connection arrangement (10) for use in a method according to any of the claims 33 to 48 or in a flotation apparatus (1) according to any of the claims 49 to 64, characterized

by comprising a connection piece (11),

by having at a first end a first opening (12) for the rotatable shaft (7) and having at a second end a second opening (13) for the rotatable shaft (7),

by the connection piece (11) comprising at least two connection piece parts (15) releasable connected to each other,

by division planes (16) between said least two connection piece parts (15) extending between the first opening (12) and the second opening (13),

by the connection piece (11) comprising a first flange (17) at the first end for releasable fastening the connection piece (11) to the bearing housing (9), and

by the connection piece (11) comprising a second flange (19) at the second end housing for releasable fastening the connection piece (11) to a bellow arrangement (18).

67. Use of the method according to any of the claims 33 to 48 or the flotation apparatus according to any of the claims 34 to 64 in a flotation process of a slurry having a density that is between 1100 and 1600 kg /m3, preferably between 1200 and 1400 kg /m3.

68. Use of the method according to any of the claims 33 to 48 or the flotation apparatus according to any of the claims 49 to 64 for creating a pressure difference.

69. Use of the method according to any of the claims 33 to 48 or the flotation apparatus according to any of the claims 49 to 64 for separation of minerals.

Description:
METHOD FOR CONSTRUCTING A FLOTATION APPARATUS, FLOTATION APPARATUS, METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR FLOTATION AND USE Field of the invention

The invention relates to method for constructing a flotation apparatus as defined in the preamble of independent claim 1.

The invention also relates to a flotation apparatus as defined in the preamble of independent claim 15.

Publication EP 0 224 762 A2 concerns a reaction cell.

Objective of the invention

The object of the invention is to provide a method for constructing a flotation apparatus and a flotation apparatus which provides for effective sealing and isolating of the content of a vessel space of the flotation apparatus from the atmosphere surrounding the flotation apparatus.

Short description of the invention

The method for constructing a flotation apparatus of is characterized by the definitions of independent claim 1.

Preferred embodiments of the method are defined in the dependent claims 2 to 14.

The flotation apparatus of the invention is correspondingly characterized by the definitions of independent claim 15.

Preferred embodiments of the flotation apparatus are defined in the dependent claims 16 to 27.

The invention relates also to a system for flotation as defined in claim 28.

The invention relates also to a connection arrangement for use in a method according to any of the claims 1 to 14 or in a flotation apparatus according to any of the claims 15 to 27, as defined in claim 29.

The invention relates also to the use of the method according to any of the claims 1 to 14 or the flotation apparatus according to any of the claims 15 to 27 in a flotation process of a slurry having a density that is between 1100 and 1600 kg /m 3, preferably between 1200 and 1400 kg /m 3 as defined in claim 30.

The invention relates also to the use of the method according to any of the claims 1 to 14 or the flotation apparatus according to any of the claims 15 to 27 for creating a pressure difference as defined in claim 31.

The invention relates also to the use of the method according to any of the claims 1 to 14 or the flotation apparatus according to any of the claims 15 to 27 for separating minerals as defined in claim 32. List of figures

In the following the invention will described in more detail by referring to the figures, of which

Figure 1 shows a flotation apparatus,

Figure 2 shows the flotation apparatus shown in figure 1 in partly cut state,

Figure 3 shows the flotation apparatus shown in figure 1 in partly cut state,

Figure 4 shows detail A of figure 3 in greater scale,

Figure 5 shows the flotation apparatus shown in figure 1 from one side,

Figure 6 shows the flotation apparatus shown in figure 1 as cut along line B-B in figure 5,

Figure 7 shows an agitating means, which can be used in the flotation apparatus shown in figure 1,

Figure 8 shows the agitating means shown in figure 7 as seen from one side,

Figure 9 shows the agitating means shown in figure 7 as partly cut along line C-C in figure 8.

Figure 10 shows the agitating means of the flotation apparatus shown in figure 1, Figure 11 shows the agitating means shown in figure 10 as seen from one side,

Figure 12 shows the agitating means shown in figure 10 as partly cut along line D-D in figure 11, and

Figure 13 shows the connecting piece of the flotation apparatus shown in figure 1 in exploded view.

Detailed description of the invention

First the method for constructing a flotation apparatus 1, such as a froth flotation apparatus, and some embodiments and variants of the method will be described in greater detail.

The method comprises providing a flotation vessel 2 and a cover 3 for closing an upwards open opening 4 of the flotation vessel 3, wherein the cover 3 and the flotation vessel 2 limiting a vessel space 5 for receiving fluid (not shown in the figures).

The method comprises providing an agitating means 6 having a rotatable shaft 7.

The method comprises arranging the rotatable shaft 7 of the agitating means 6 to extend through a first aperture 8 in the cover 3.

The method comprises supporting the rotatable shaft 7 at a bearing housing 9 outside the vessel space 5.

The method comprises providing a connection arrangement 10 that surrounds the rotatable shaft 7 between the bearing housing 9 and the cover 3.

A purpose of the connection arrangement 10 is to at least partly seal the rotatable shaft 7 from the surrounding environment between the bearing housing 9 and the cover 3.

The method may comprise by attaching the connection arrangement 10 to the bearing housing 9 to simplify the construction.

The method may comprise attaching the connection arrangement 10 to the cover 3 to simplify the construction.

The method may comprise attaching the connection arrangement 10 both to the bearing housing 9 and to the cover 3 so that the connection arrangement 10 hermetically sealing the rotatable shaft 7 between the bearing housing 9 and the cover 3 to simplify the construction.

The method may comprise providing a connection arrangement 10 comprising a connection piece 11 surrounding the rotatable shaft 7 between the bearing housing 9 and the cover 3.

The connection piece 11 that is provided may comprise at an end facing the bearing housing 9 a first opening 12 for the rotatable shaft 7, and at an end facing the vessel space 5 of the vessel space 5 a second opening 13 for the rotatable shaft 7.

The connection piece 11 that may be provided may comprise a hollow truncated cone 14 surrounding the rotatable shaft 7 between the bearing housing 9 and the cover 3 the connection piece 11, so that the hollow truncated cone 14 tapers towards the bearing housing 9, so that the connection piece 11 having at the end facing the bearing housing 9 the first opening 12 for the rotatable shaft 7, and so that the connection piece 11 having at the end facing the vessel space 5 of the flotation vessel 1 the second opening 13 for the rotatable shaft 7.

The connection piece 11 that may be provided may, as shown in figure 13, comprise at least two connection piece parts 15 releasable connected to each other so that division planes 16 between said least two connection piece parts 15 extending between the first opening 12 and the second opening 13 so that the connection piece 11 can be removed from the surrounding state without moving the connection piece 11 via an end of the rotatable shaft 7.

The connection piece 11 that may be provided can comprise a first flange 17 at the end facing the bearing housing 9, wherein the method comprises releasable fastening the connection piece 11 to the bearing housing 9 by using the first flange 17. This facilitates removal and mounting of the connection piece 11.

The connection arrangement 10 that is provided may comprise a bellow arrangement 18 surrounding the rotatable shaft 7 between the bearing housing 9 and the cover 3 to provide for relative movement between the bearing housing 9 and the cover 3. The connection arrangement 10 may be composed of a bellow arrangement 18.

If a connection piece 11 of any of the embodiments as described earlier is provided, the possible bellow arrangement 18 can be arranged between the cover 3 and the connection piece 11, and the connection piece 11 is correspondingly between the bearing housing 9 and the bellow arrangement 18.

In the method, the optional bellow arrangement 18 can be attached to the connection piece 11 by means of a second flange 19, and the bellow arrangement 18 can be attached to the cover 3 by means of a third flange 20 to provide for tight, hermetically sealing. The second flange 19 can be connected with the third flange 20 by means of a travel limiter 21 to limit the travel of the second flange 19 with respect to the third flange 20, i.e. to prevent excess movement between the second flange 19 and the third flange 20.

The method may comprise providing a gasket (not shown in the figures) to surround the rotatable shaft 7 between the bearing housing 9 and the rotatable shaft 7 to provide for additional sealing, prevents possible toxic gases from escaping.

The method may comprise connecting a gas feeding means 23 in fluid connection with the vessel space 5. Gas from a gas feeding means 23 is normally needed in a flotation process. It is possible that the flotation vessel 2 that is provided comprises a vessel space 5 comprising an inner bottom 24, and in such case the method comprises preferably, but not necessarily, connecting the gas feeding means 23 in fluid connection with the vessel space 5 at a gas outlet 25 that is located closer to the inner bottom 24 of the vessel space 5 than to the upwards open opening 4 of the vessel space 5. Alternatively or additionally, it is possible to provide a gas feeding means 23 comprising a gas feeding duct 26 in the rotatable shaft 7 of the agitating means 6, outside the vessel space 5 a gas inlet 27 for feeding gas into the gas feeding duct 26, and inside the vessel space 5 a gas outlet 25 for feeding gas from the gas feeding duct 26 into the vessel space 5. In such case, the bearing housing 9 may being arranged between the gas inlet 27 and the cover 3 to enable proper sealing of the rotatable shaft 7 between the cover 3 and the bearing housing 9. In such case the method may comprise supporting the rotatable shaft 7 additionally at an additional bearing housing 28 so that the gas inlet 27 is situated between the bearing housing 9 and the additional bearing housing 28 to provide for stable supporting of the rotatable shaft 7 especially if rotatable shaft 7 is supported only outside the vessel space 5.

The vessel space 5 of the flotation vessel 2 that is provided may be a vertical cylindrical vessel space 5 having a circular inner bottom 24, and having an upwards open opening 4 in the form of a circular upwards open opening. In such case, the rotatable shaft 7 can be arranged to extend vertically at a vertical center axis E of the vertical cylindrical vessel space 5.

The agitating means 6 that is provided may comprise a rotor 33 that is attached to the rotatable shaft 7, preferably to a distal end of the rotatable shaft 7. The rotor 33 may be at least partly surrounded by a stator 34. The method may comprise fastening the stator 34 being fastened to the flotation vessel 2 in the vessel space 5, preferably to the circular inner bottom 24 of the vertical cylindrical inner space.

The method may comprise providing a flotation vessel 2, where the cover 3 is composed of a first cover part 29 and a second cover part 30 that is releasable attached to the first cover part 29, so that the first cover part 29 comprises a second aperture 31 that is covered by the second cover part 30, and so that the first aperture 8 is in the second cover part 30. In such case the method comprises fastening the connection arrangement 10 to the second cover part 30. In such case the method comprises providing the second aperture 31 so that it is circular and having a diameter that is larger than an outer diameter of a rotor 33 attached to the rotatable shaft 7. In such case the method comprises providing a sealing (not shown in the figures) between the first cover part 29 and the second cover part 30.

The method may comprise providing the agitating means 6 with a motor means 32 for rotating the rotatable shaft 7.

Next the flotation apparatus 1 such as a froth flotation apparatus and some embodiments and variants thereof will be described in greater detail.

The flotation apparatus 1 comprises a flotation vessel 2 and a cover 3 for closing an upwards open opening 4 of the flotation vessel. The cover 3 and the flotation vessel 2 limits a vessel space 5 for receiving fluid.

The flotation apparatus 1 comprises an agitating means 6 having a rotatable axis extending through a first aperture 8 in the cover 3.

The rotatable shaft 7 is rotatable supported at a bearing housing 9 outside the vessel space

5.

The flotation apparatus 1 comprises a connection arrangement 10 surrounding the rotatable shaft 7 between the bearing housing 9 and the cover 3. A purpose of the sealing arrangement is to at least partly seal the rotatable shaft 7 from the surrounding environment between the bearing housing 9 and the cover 3.

The connection arrangement 10 may be attached to the bearing housing 9, which results in a simplified construction.

The connection arrangement 10 may be attached to the cover 3, which results in a simplified construction.

The connection arrangement 10 may be attached to the bearing housing 9 and to the cover 3 so that the connection arrangement 10 hermetically sealing the rotatable shaft 7, which results in a simplified construction.

The connection arrangement 10 may comprise a connection piece 11 surrounding the rotatable shaft 7 between the bearing housing 9 and the cover 3. The connection piece 11 has preferably at the end facing the bearing housing 9 a first opening 12 for the rotatable shaft 7, and at the end facing the vessel space 5 of the flotation vessel 2 a second opening 13 for the rotatable shaft 7. In such case, the connection piece 11 comprises preferably, but not necessarily, a hollow truncated cone 14 so that the connection piece 11 tapers towards the bearing housing 9, so that the connection piece 11 having at the end facing the bearing housing 9 the first opening 12 for the rotatable shaft 7, and so that the connection piece 11 having at the end facing the vessel space 5 of the flotation vessel 2 the second opening 13 for the rotatable shaft 7.

If the connection arrangement 10 comprises a connection piece 11 as described earlier having at the end facing the bearing housing 9 a first opening 12 for the rotatable shaft 7, and having at the end facing the vessel space 5 of the flotation vessel 2 a second opening 13 for the rotatable shaft 7, as described, the connection piece 11 comprises preferably, but not necessarily, at least two connection piece parts 15 releasable connected to each other, so that division planes 16 between said least two connection piece parts 15 extending between the first opening 12 and the second opening 13. This provides for removing and mounting of the connection piece 11 from the surrounding state without moving the connection piece 11 via an end of the rotatable shaft 7.

If the connection arrangement 10 comprises a connection piece 11 as described earlier, the connection piece 11 may comprise a first flange 17 at the end facing the bearing housing 9 for releasable fastening the connection piece 11 to the bearing housing 9 to facilitate removal and mounting of the connection piece 11

The connection arrangement 10 may comprise a bellow arrangement 18 surrounding the rotatable shaft 7 between the bearing housing 9 and the cover 3 to provide for relative movement between the bearing housing 9 and the cover 3. The bellow arrangement 18 may substitute a connection piece 11.

If the connection arrangement 10 comprise a bellow arrangement 18 surrounding the rotatable shaft 7 between the bearing housing 9 and the cover 3, the bellow arrangement 18 may be arranged between the cover 3 and the connection piece 11, and the connection piece 11 may be arranged between the bearing housing 9 and the bellow arrangement 18 as in the embodiments shown in the figures. If the connection arrangement 10 comprises both a bellow arrangement 18 and a connection piece 11, the bellow arrangement 18 can be made small. In the embodiment shown in the figures, the bellow arrangement 18 is attached to the connection piece 11 by means of a second flange 19, and the bellow arrangement 18 is attached to the cover 3 by means of a third flange 20. In the embodiment shown in the figures, the second flange 19 is connected with the third flange 20 by means of a travel limiter 21 configured to limit the travel of the second flange 19 with respect to the third flange 20 to prevent excess movement of the of the second flange 19 with respect to the third flange 20. The flotation apparatus 1 may comprise a gasket (not shown in the figures) surrounding the rotatable shaft 7 between the bearing housing 9 and the rotatable shaft 7 to provide for additional sealing and to prevent possible toxic gases from escaping from between the bearing housing 9 and the rotatable shaft 7.

The flotation apparatus 1 may comprise gas feeding means 23 for feeding gas needed for the flotation process into the vessel space 5. If the vessel space 5 comprising an inner bottom 24, the gas feeding means 23 may be configured to feed gas into the vessel space 5 at a gas outlet 25 that is located closer to the inner bottom 24 of the vessel space 5 than to the cover 3. Alternatively or additionally the gas feeding means 23 may comprise a gas feeding duct 26 in the rotatable shaft 7 of the agitating means 6, outside the vessel space 5 a gas inlet 27 for feeding gas into the gas feeding duct 26, and inside the vessel space 5 a gas outlet 25 for feeding gas from the gas feeding duct 26 into the vessel space 5. In such case the bearing housing 9 may be arranged between the gas inlet 27 and the cover 3 to provide for proper sealing of the rotatable shaft 7 between the cover 3 and the bearing housing 9.

The vessel space 5 of the flotation apparatus 1 may, as shown in the figures, be a vertical cylindrical vessel space 5 having a circular inner bottom 24, and having a circular open top. In such case, the rotatable shaft 7 may extend vertically at a vertical center axis E of the vertical cylindrical vessel space 5, as shown in the figures.

The agitating means 6 of the flotation apparatus 1 may, as shown in the figures, comprise a rotor 33 that is attached to the rotatable shaft 7. In such case the rotor 33 may be at least partly surrounded by a stator 34. The stator 34 may be fastened to the flotation vessel 2 in the vessel space 5.

The cover 3 of the flotation apparatus 1 may, as shown in the figures, be composed of a first cover part 29 and a second cover part 30 that is releasable attached to the first cover part 29. The first cover part 29 comprises a second aperture 31 that is covered by the second cover part 30, and the first aperture 8 is in the second cover part 30. The connection arrangement 10 is fastened to the second cover part 30. The second aperture 31 is circular, has a diameter that is larger than an outer diameter of a rotor 33 attached to the rotatable shaft 7 and a sealing is provided between the first cover part 29 and the second cover part 30.

The agitating means 6 pf the flotation apparatus 1 may comprise a motor means 32 for rotating the rotatable shaft 7.

The invention relates also to a system for flotation, comprising a flotation apparatus 1 according to embodiment describe herein.

The invention relates also to a connection arrangement 10 for use in a method according to any embodiment described or in a flotation apparatus 1 according to any embodiment described. The connection arrangement comprises a connection piece 11 having at a first end a first opening 12 for the rotatable shaft 7 and having at a second end a second opening 13 for the rotatable shaft 7. The connection piece 11 comprises at least two connection piece parts 15 releasable connected to each other. Division planes 16 between said least two connection piece parts 15 extends between the first opening 12 and the second opening 13. The connection piece 11 comprises a first flange 17 at the first end for releasable fastening the connection piece 11 to the bearing housing 9, and a second flange 19 at the second end housing for releasable fastening the connection piece 11 to a bellow arrangement 18.

The invention relates also to the use of the method according to any embodiment described herein and to the use of the flotation apparatus according to any embodiment described herein in a flotation process of a slurry having a density that is between 1100 and 1600 kg /m 3, preferably between 1200 and 1400 kg /m 3 .

The invention relates also to the use of the method according to any embodiment described herein and to the use of the flotation apparatus according to any embodiment described herein for creating a pressure difference.

The invention relates also to the use of the method according to any embodiment described herein and to the use of the flotation apparatus according to any embodiment described herein for separation of minerals. It is apparent to a person skilled in the art that as technology advanced, the basic idea of the invention can be implemented in various ways. The invention and its embodiments are therefore not restricted to the above examples, but they may vary within the scope of the claims.