Electrochemical and Spectroscopic Study of Interfacial Interactions between Chalcopyrite and typical Flotation Process Reagents

Gustavo Urbano, Isabel Lázaro, Israel Rodríguez, Juan Luís Reyes, Roxana Larios, Roel Cruz
International Journal of Minerals, Metallurgy and Materials, 23 (2) (2016) 127-136., 2016.


Comparative voltammetry and differential double-layer capacitance studies were performed to evaluate interfacial interactions between chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) and n-isopropyl xanthate (X) in the presence of ammonium bisulfite/39wt% SO2 and caustic starch at different pH values. Raman spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, contact angle measurements, and microflotation tests were used to establish the type and extent of xanthate adsorption as well as the species involved under different mineral surface conditions in this study. The results demonstrate that the species that favor a greater hydrophobicity of chalcopyrite are primarily CuX and S0, whereas oxides and hydroxides of Cu and Fe as well as an excess of starch decrease the hydrophobicity. A conditioning of the mineral surface with ammonium bisulfite/39wt% SO2 at pH 6 promotes the activation of surface and enhances the xanthate adsorption. However, this effect is diminished at pH ≥ 8, when an excess of starch is added during the preconditioning step.