Interaction between mineral particles during ascharite flotation process and direct force measurement using AFM
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College of Resources and Civil Engineering, Northeastern University
Publication date: 2017-05-16
Corresponding author
Yuexin Han   

Northeastern University, College of Resources and Civil Engineering, Box 265, NO. 3-11, Wenhua Road, Heping District, Shenyang, P. R. China, 110819 Shenyang, China
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2017;53(2):1161-1174
Interaction between mineral particles during ascharite flotation was investigated by flotation, zeta potential, Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory, atomic force microscope (AFM) and SEM-EDS tests. Flotation results showed that the ascharite recovery decreased significantly in the presence of serpentine. In order to improve the ascharite recovery, negative charged quartz was used to limit the detrimental effect of serpentine on ascharite flotation in this research. The effect of quartz on improving ascharite recovery was attributed to the particle surface interactions. The DLVO theory was applied to study the particles interaction in the aqueous solution. The fitting curves showed that serpentine could attach to the surface of quartz easily, and quartz would be well dispersed with ascharite. Therefore, quartz can improve the ascharite flotation performance effectively by interaction between particles. Zeta potential tests showed the opposite charges on the surfaces of mineral particles, which was the basic reason leading to particles interaction. The force measurement results of AFM indicated that the attraction force existed between serpentine and ascharite, as well as serpentine and quartz, but the force between quartz and ascharite was repulsive. The DLVO theory was in a good agreement with the results of AFM. Eventually, particles coating were observed by SEM-EDS, which supported the results of DLVO theory and AFM measurements. During the flotation process, addition of quartz would lead to attachment of serpentine to the quartz surface, so the adverse effect of serpentine on decreasing floatability of ascharite was weakened.
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