Micro-FTIR analysis to study the change in surface chemistry after addition of collectors and their effect on coal hydrophobicity
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China University of Mining and Technology
University of British Columbia
Indiana University
Maria Ewelina Holuszko   

University of British Columbia, 6350 Stores Road, Room 509, V6T 1Z4 Vancouver, Canada
Publication date: 2018-11-30
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2018;54(4):1292–1302
In this study, the micro-FTIR analysis was used to investigate in-situ surface properties of coal, and was directly correlated to coal hydrophobicity, as measured by the contact angle before and after the addition of collectors, to understand their suitability for flotation. Three different collectors, diesel, pine needle oil and dodecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide (DTAB) were tested. The micro-FTIR technique provided a semi-quantitative analysis of functional groups present on the coal surface exactly where the contact angle was measured and provided a visualization of collector adsorption on specific areas of coal and associated changes in coal surface properties. This analysis could lead to a smarter way of using process design in terms of reagent selection for coal flotation to obtain a product of desired petrographic composition, which would especially be useful for coking coals. This study presents a work in progress for developing a procedure for a quick pre-selection of collectors for coal flotation based on coal surface properties.