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Minerals 2017, 7(12), 236; doi:10.3390/min7120236

New Insights into the Adsorption of Oleate on Cassiterite: A DFT Study

College of Resources and Civil Engineering, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, China
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Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Simulation of Mineral-Solution Interfaces)
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Abstract

A new understanding of the adsorption mechanism of oleate on cassiterite surfaces is presented by density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Various convergence tests were conducted to optimize the parameter settings for the rational simulation of cassiterite bulk unit cell and surface slabs. The calculated surface energies of four low-index cassiterite cleavage planes form an increasing sequence of (110) < (100) < (101) < (001), demonstrating (110) is the most thermodynamically stable surface of cassiterite. The interaction strengths of the oleate ion (OL), OH, and H2O on the SnO2 (110) face are in the order of H2O < OH < OL, which reveals that the OL is able to replace the adsorbed H2O and OH on the mineral surfaces. Mulliken population calculations and electron density difference analysis show that electrons transfer from the Sn atoms on the cassiterite (110) surface to the O atoms offered by carboxyl groups of oleate during the interaction. The populations of newly formed O1–Sn1 and O2–Sn2 bonds are 0.30 and 0.29, respectively, indicating that these two bonds are of a very low covalency. Density of states analysis reveals that the formation of an O1–Sn1 bond mainly results from the 5s and 5p orbitals of the Sn1 atom and the 2p orbital of the O1 atom. View Full-Text
Keywords: cassiterite; oleate; flotation; adsorption mechanism; first-principles calculations cassiterite; oleate; flotation; adsorption mechanism; first-principles calculations
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Liu, J.; Gong, G.; Han, Y.; Zhu, Y. New Insights into the Adsorption of Oleate on Cassiterite: A DFT Study. Minerals 2017, 7, 236.

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