Dense Media Separation Relies on Magnetite

Removing unwanted materials and increasing product value is an important job made possible by magnetite

Dense Media Separation

When raw materials are extracted from mines, separating the desired product from unwanted waste materials can be a challenge. With magnetite, though, producers can use basic physics to separate the valuable from the worthless while reducing harmful and even toxic byproducts, through dense media separation (DMS).

Also known as Heavy Medium Separation, DMS is a technique first pioneered in the 1950s in coal refineries that relies on varying densities of a desired product. In coal industries, the run of mine coal contains impurities such as rock, shale, and clays that makes the product unmarketable. By infusing water with magnetite, operators can alter the specific density of the water to a degree so precise that the impurities sink and the good coal floats.

After separating the desirable product from waste, removing the magnetite can be accomplished with the simple application of magnetic forces, which in turn makes cleanup and maintenance a breeze.

Dense media separation processes find wide use

Prior to the development of complex DMS systems, separating valuable product from waste byproducts was challenging. Yet, DMS changed the refining process for any compound where the refined product varies in density from the unrefined product.

The Scrap recyclers also apply the same process. By using DMS they are able to separate the more valuable shredded metals from the seat cushions, rubber, and plastics used in automobiles.

From Potash Mining to sorting industrial grade diamonds from dirt substrate or isolating useful heavy metals, such as lead or gold, heavy medium separation is a vital tool in isolating important component materials and compounds.

Picture a gold prospector beside the river. The prospector swirls the pan, filled with dirt and clay and water, watching as the heavier particles sink to the bottom and then filter out, leaving behind a fine dust of tiny gold flakes.

Now, imagine that you could change the specific density of the water so that the heavy gold bits sank to the bottom while the clay, dirt and sand were on top while the heavier and more valuable gold particles sank to the bottom. Skim off the top, apply a magnetic field to the separation medium to remove the magnetite, and voila: gold.

That’s not wishful thinking. Let Quality Magnetite provide you with the magnetic materials you need to easily and quickly separate the valuable from the useless.

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a piece of raw magnetite