The effect of polyacrylic acid on the surface properties of calcite and fluorite aiming at their selective flotation
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School of Mineral Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
State Key Laboratory of Mineral Processing, Beijing General Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Beijing 102600, China
Corresponding author
Chenhu Zhang   

Central South University, 932 southlushan road, 410083 changsha, China
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2018;54(3):868-877
In this study, the polyacrylic acid (PAA) was studied as a selective depressant for calcite in the selective flotation of fluorite and calcite, and the implications of this process for the separation of fluorite ore were studied using micro-flotation tests, and the results were analyzed with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses. The flotation tests indicated that the preferential adsorption of PAA onto calcite rather than sodium oleate (NaOl) could selectively depress the flotation of calcite, allowing its separation from fluorite at pH 7. The zeta potential of calcite became more negative with the addition of PAA rather than with NaOl. However, the characteristic features of PAA adsorption were not observed for fluorite, suggesting that NaOl preferentially adsorbed on the surface of fluorite, or that PAA could be replaced by NaOl on the fluorite surface. FT-IR and XPS analysis were utilized to obtain a better understanding of the mechanism by which PAA was more strongly adsorbed on the calcite surface than NaOl. This was revealed to occur through chemical bonding between the carboxyl group of PAA and the hydroxyl groups of the Ca species on the calcite surface, modifying the structure of the adsorbed layer. A possible adsorption mechanism, along with a postulated adsorption mode for the surface interaction between PAA and calcite, is proposed.
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