Flotation kinetics and thermodynamic behavior of chalcopyrite and pyrite in high alkaline systems
Huashan Yan 1, 2,   Qinzhi Yuan 1,   Liping Zhou 1,   Tingsheng Qiu 1  
,   Guanghua Ai 1
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College of Resource and Environmental Engineering, Jiangxi University of Science and Technology, Ganzhou 341000, China
Jiangxi Key Laboratory of Mining Engineering, Ganzhou 341000, China
Tingsheng Qiu   

Jiangxi University of Science and Technology, No. 156, Kejia Avenue, 341000 Ganzhou, China
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2018;54(3):901–910
The monomineral flotation test and microcalorimetry were used to study the flotation kinetics and thermodynamic behavior of chalcopyrite and pyrite in high alkaline systems of lime and NaOH. The results showed that in these systems there were less hydrophilic substances on the chalcopyrite surface, so that the apparent activation energy of sodium butyl xanthate (SBX) adsorption on chalcopyrite surface was low. This promoted the adsorption of SBX and increased the flotation rate and recovery of chalcopyrite. In contrast, the hydrophilic Fe(OH)3 and SO42- formed by oxidation on the pyrite surface increased the adsorption activation energy of SBX. Thus, the flotation rate and recovery of pyrite were lower. Moreover, in the lime high alkaline system, the hydrophilic calcium film generated on the pyrite surface further hindered the adsorption of SBX, thereby further inhibiting pyrite in this environment. In other words, the lime high alkaline environment increased the apparent activation energy difference of SBX adsorption between chalcopyrite and pyrite compared to the NaOH system, facilitating the flotation separation of chalcopyrite and pyrite. The results can help with the theoretical research of flotation separation of other minerals, and provide guidance for developing low alkaline and lime-free pyrite depressants.
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