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Open AccessArticle

The Effect of Sodium Alginate on Chlorite and Serpentine in Chalcopyrite Flotation

by Guangjiu Pan 1, Guofan Zhang 1,2, Qing Shi 1,2,* and Wei Chen 3
School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Key Laboratory of Hunan Province for Clean and Efficient Utilization of Strategic Calcium-Containing Mineral Resources, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
College of Materials and Mineral Resources, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi’an 710055, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2019, 9(3), 196;
Received: 23 February 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrometallurgical Processing of Base Metal Sulphides)
Chlorite and serpentine are common magnesium-containing gangue minerals in copper sulfide flotation. In this study, sodium alginate, a natural hydrophilic polysaccharide, was introduced as a selective depressant for these gangue minerals. Micro-flotation tests were conducted on both single minerals and synthetic mixtures. The flotation results showed that sodium alginate could simultaneously depress the flotation of chlorite and serpentine effectively, but seldom influenced the floatability of chalcopyrite at pH 9. In the ternary mixture flotation, a concentrate with a Cu grade of 31% could be achieved at Cu recovery of 90%. The selective depression of chlorite and serpentine was also validated by the real ore flotation experiments. The selective depression mechanism was investigated through adsorption tests, zeta potential measurements, and FTIR analyses. The adsorption density results implied that sodium alginate selectively adsorbed on the surface of phyllosilicates, but no adsorption on the chalcopyrite surface was observed. The zeta potential results showed that the sodium alginate could selectively decrease the surface charge of chlorite and serpentine. The FTIR results revealed the chemical adsorption of sodium alginate on the chlorite and serpentine surface and no form of adsorption on chalcopyrite, agreeing well with the adsorption density results. On the basis of these results, a selective adsorption model of sodium alginate on the mineral surface was proposed. View Full-Text
Keywords: flotation; sodium alginate; depressant; chlorite; serpentine flotation; sodium alginate; depressant; chlorite; serpentine
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Pan, G.; Zhang, G.; Shi, Q.; Chen, W. The Effect of Sodium Alginate on Chlorite and Serpentine in Chalcopyrite Flotation. Minerals 2019, 9, 196.

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