On the cathodic reaction coupled with the oxidation of xanthates at the pyrite/aqueous solution interface.

Lopez Valdivieso A., Sanchez Lopez A.A., Song S.
International Journal of Mineral Processing. v. 77 (2005) p. 154-164, 2005.


The adsorption of ethyl, propyl and butyl xanthates on pyrite has been studied through electrokinetics, batch adsorption tests, and quantification of Fe2+ ions in solution. Adsorption isotherms for the three alkyl xanthates indicate that their adsorption to dixanthogen produces Fe2+ ions in solution and decreases the pyrite zeta potential negatively. It seems that the oxidation reaction of xanthates to dixanthogen on pyrite is coupled with the reduction reaction of surface-ferric hydroxide to ferrous ions, leading to the dissolution of hydrophilic ferric hydroxide and growth of hydrophobic dixanthogen on the surface of pyrite. Flotation of pyrite is presented as a function of pH using various ethyl xanthate concentrations. The floatability results are explained in terms of the surface coverage relationship between ferric hydroxide and dixanthogen, which is pH dependent.