Flotation separation of scheelite from calcite using sodium polyacrylate as depressant
Ying Zhang 1, 2  
,   Rong Chen 2,   Youyu Li 1,   Yuhua Wang 3,   Ximei Luo 2, 3
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State Key Laboratory of Complex Nonferrous Metal Resources Clean Utilization, Kunming 650093, China
Mineral Processing Engineering, Faculty of Land Resource Engineering, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming 650093, China
Mineral Processing Engineering, School of Minerals Processing and Bio-engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Ying Zhang   

Kunming University of Science and Technology, No.68 Wenchang Road, 121Street, Kunming 650093 Yunnan Province, China, 650093 Kunming, China
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2018;54(2):505–516
The depressing properties of sodium polyacrylate (PA-Na) for calcite from scheelite were studied by microflotation experiments, zeta potentials, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and density functional theory (DFT) calculation. Flotation results revealed that the selective depression effect of PA-Na was better than that of sodium silicate (Na2SiO3), and PA-Na can depress calcite more effectively than scheelite. The flotation recovery of scheelite and calcite kept at about 75% and 15% respectively at the pulp pH 9.3~9.6 and PA-Na concentration from 37.5 mg/dm3 to 50 mg/dm3. The zeta potentials of the minerals were significantly altered and the zeta potential of calcite became more negative than scheelite. XPS analysis deduced the occurrence of chemisorption between PA-Na and mineral surfaces, and the chemisorption of PA-Na on calcite was stronger than on scheelite. The results from DFT calculation demonstrated that the absolute value of the adsorption energy in the presence of PA-Na on the surface of calcite {104} was larger than on the surface of scheelite {111}. With the combination of the analysis, it could be concluded that calcite was more easily depressed than scheelite, and this finding remarkably matched with the microflotation experimental results. Furthermore, by using PA-Na as depressant, the flotation separation of scheelite from calcite can be achieved by controlling the flotation pH and PA-Na dosage.
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