We characterized the adsorption of triglycine molecules on a pyrite surface under several simulated environmental conditions by X-ray photoemission spectroscopy. The triglycine molecular adsorption on a pyrite surface under vacuum conditions (absence of oxygen) shows the presence of two different states for the amine functional group (NH2
), therefore two chemical species (anionic and zwitterionic). On the other hand, molecular adsorption from a solution discriminates the NH2
as a unique molecular adsorption form, however, the amount adsorbed in this case is higher than under vacuum conditions. Furthermore, molecular adsorption on the mineral surface is even favored if the pyrite surface has been irradiated before the molecular adsorption occurs. Pyrite surface chemistry is highly sensitive to the chemical changes induced by UV irradiation, as XPS analysis shows the presence of Fe2
—like environments on the surface. Surface chemical changes induced by UV help to increase the probability of adsorption of molecular species and their subsequent concentration on the pyrite surface.
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