Zalta™ Viscosity Modifiers

Mineral processing often requires that solid materials be combined with a carrier fluid such as water to create slurries. Although slurries have advantages, they also pose engineering challenges. They take significant amounts of energy to transport and require large water reserves. This is a difficult scenario for mines that operate in water-stressed areas. 

Zalta viscosity modifiers are a family of low-molecular-weight polymers, oligomers and surfactants that alter the flow properties of fluids. They reduce the viscosity of process slurries to increase solids content in plant flows, increase production volume and improve water utilization. They work by altering the surface charge to reduce the particle-particle interaction. This prevents particles from aggregating, which reduces the yield stress of the suspension.

Zalta viscosity modifiers make it possible for mining companies to use existing equipment to achieve higher flow rates. This means no new equipment purchases are needed. Additional benefits include:

  • Improved production throughput
  • Higher feed solids
  • Reduced operating expenses
  • Energy savings
  • Improved water recovery
  • Extended lifespan of pumps and other equipment

Recorded Results

Solenis worked with one mining operation to design and implement a new chemical feed program using the Zalta VM1120 viscosity modifier. The results were significant:

  • Slurry solids increased a minimum of 20 percent
  • Rake torque was reduced by 40 percent
  • Alumina production increased by 200 tons per day
  • Revenue increased over $20 million annually

Read the complete case history. (PDF 184 KB)

More Information

To learn more about Zalta viscosity modifiers or for free technical advice on a specific process challenge, ask a Solenis expert today.