Study of flotation behavior and mechanism of cervantite activation by copper ions
Jinming Wang 1, 2  
,   Yuhua Wang 3,   Kaibin Fu 1, 2,   Longhua Xu 1, 2,   Zhen Wang 1, 2,   Hongjuan Sun 1, 4,   Junhui Xiao 1, 2
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School of Environment and Resource, Southwest University of Science and Technology
Key Laboratory of Solid Waste Treatment and Resource Recycle Ministry of Education, Southwest University of Science and Technology
School of Resources Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University
Sichuan Engineering Lab of Non-metallic Mineral Powder Modification & High-value Utilization
Jinming Wang   

School of Environment and Resource, Southwest University of Science and Technology, qinglong street No.59, mianyang, 621010 mingyang, China
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2018;54(3):814–825
Copper-ion activation plays a highly important role in cervantite (Sb2O4) flotation. Without metal-ion activation, cervantite cannot be floated by sodium oleate. In this study, flotation tests were conducted to study the effect of Cu2+ on the flotation behaviours of cervantite and quartz (SiO2) as the main gangue mineral. Metal-ion adsorption capacities, zeta potentials, solution chemistry and X-ray photoelectron spectra were analyzed to study the adsorption behavior and mechanism of copper ions and sodium oleate interaction with the minerals surfaces. The results demonstrate that under weakly acidic conditions, cervantite can be flotated and separated from quartz by the addition of copper ions. The reason is that copper ions can be selectively adsorbed on the cervantite surface under weakly acidic conditions, thereby promoting the adsorption of sodium oleate onto the cervantite surface by chemical adsorption. Conversely, copper ions are weakly adsorbed on quartz surfaces below pH 6.1, and sodium oleate cannot be adsorbed on quartz surfaces by chemical adsorption. The hydroxy copper species are integral to the selective activation of cervantite over quartz.
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