A multi-scale investigation was conducted to study the surface properties of xanthate-absorbed chalcopyrite at elevated temperature to understand the temperature effect on the xanthate’s performance during chalcopyrite flotation. Firstly, a macro-scale study was initiated to investigate the temperature effect on the hydrophobicity of mineral surface by means of contact angle measurement, Hallimond tube microflotation and lab flotation tests; secondly, a micro–scale study was conducted to clarify the temperature effect on the adsorption of chemicals on mineral surface employing an atomic force microscope (AFM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy-attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR). In the experiments, pure chalcopyrite samples were used for contact angle measurement, Hallimond tube microflotation, AFM and FTIR; and copper ore samples (1.51% Cu, 5.88% Fe 0.029% Mo, 5.23% S in weight percentage) were used for lab flotation tests. FTIR spectra and AFM images showed that, when potassium amyl xanthate (PAX) was used as the collector in this study, oily dixanthogen was the main hydrophobic species on the chalcopyrite surface. The morphological change of dixanthogen patches at elevated temperatures has a more significant impact than changes in the amount of adsorption species. Increasing temperature within a certain range is beneficial for the collector’s performance by increasing flotation recovery.
- Contact angle
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology