An AFM study of the adsorption of ethyl xanthate on copper sulfides

Jinhong Zhang, Wei Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The adsorption of ethyl xanthate on copper sulfides, i.e., chalcopyrite, chalcocite and bornite, has been studied in situ in aqueous solutions by applying an atomic force microscopy (AFM). AFM images show that xanthate, such as potassium ethyl xanthate (KEX), adsorbs strongly on chalcocite and bornite mainly in the form of insoluble metal xanthate, which binds strongly with the mineral surface without being removed by flushing with ethanol alcohol. This adsorption mechanism is totally different from the one obtained with chalcopyrite/xanthate system, during which oily dixanthogen is the main adsorption product on chalcopyrite surface. The findings obtained from the present AFM study suggest that an AFM image analysis is a powerful tool for the study of the collector’s adsorption on mineral surface and as well the development of novel collector for copper sulfide flotation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIMPC 2016 - 28th International Mineral Processing Congress
PublisherCanadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
ISBN (Electronic)9781926872292
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Event28th International Mineral Processing Congress, IMPC 2016 - Quebec City, Canada
Duration: Sep 11 2016Sep 15 2016


Other28th International Mineral Processing Congress, IMPC 2016
CityQuebec City


  • Adsorption
  • AFM
  • Bornite
  • Chalcocite
  • Chalcopyrite
  • Copper sulfide
  • Xanthate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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