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Open AccessArticle

The Effect of Surface Charge on the Separation of Pyrite from Serpentine by Flotation

by Tao Long 1,†, Xiaotao Huang 2,† and Wei Xiao 1,*
1
School of Resources Engineering, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi’an 710055, China
2
The institute for advanced studies, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
T.L. and X.H. contributed equally to this work.
Minerals 2019, 9(10), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9100629
Received: 8 September 2019 / Revised: 9 October 2019 / Accepted: 12 October 2019 / Published: 14 October 2019
Serpentine, a magnesium silicate mineral with positive surface charge in many sulfide ores around the world, usually deteriorates the flotation behavior by covering the target mineral surface. In this paper, the effect of surface potential regulation on serpentine flotation was revealed by flocculation experiments, zeta potential measurements, infrared spectrum analysis, and DLVO theoretical calculations. The experimental results of flocculation and sedimentation show that heterogeneous coagulation easily occurs between serpentine and pyrite particles, which reduces the floatability of pyrite. Reducing the surface potential of serpentine is an effective way to eliminate heterogeneous coagulation between minerals. The key to regulating the surface potential of serpentine is Mg2+ ion dissolution from the serpentine surface to the liquid phase. Phosphates, especially sodium hexametaphosphate, can enhance Mg2+ ion dissolution from the serpentine surface to the liquid phase and react with Mg2+ ions in the liquid phase to form stable soluble complexes. View Full-Text
Keywords: heterogeneous reunion; Mg2+ ion dissolution; surface potential; fine serpentine heterogeneous reunion; Mg2+ ion dissolution; surface potential; fine serpentine
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MDPI and ACS Style

Long, T.; Huang, X.; Xiao, W. The Effect of Surface Charge on the Separation of Pyrite from Serpentine by Flotation. Minerals 2019, 9, 629.

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