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Design and Development of Mineral Structure Specific Collectors in Flotation
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering.
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The success of mineral flotation processes depends on the hydrophobization of the surface for the desired mineral particles whilst keeping, or making, all other minerals hydrophilic. This is achieved by adding several reagents to the flotation pulp to adsorb selectively at the mineral/water interface. The reagents (surface active agents) which selectively adsorbs on minerals to be floated are called collectors. It is realized that many of these commonly used reagents are highly toxic and often potential threats to the environment. Use of many of theseconventional chemicals will therefore be restricted soon and must eventually be stopped. An immediate effort is necessary to develop alternative eco-friendly reagents in order to continue to extract valuable minerals from ores. In addition, with the steady depletion of high grade, relatively easy to process ores, the mineral industry is confronted with a challenging task of finding more efficient techniques so as to exploit low grade, complex and disseminated typeof ore deposits and old tailing dumps. The development of new selective and environmentally acceptable substances containing almost tailor-made reagents is thus inevitable for sustainability. Several known chelating agents have been appropriately modified to make those behave as selective flotation collectors with some degree of success. The problem is that almost all of the chelating groups form complexes with almost all of the transition and many non-transition metals. As a consequence, absolute selectivity does not exist. Besides beingunsatisfactory from a scientific viewpoint, it assumes that the metal ion specificity observed for a functional group in bulk aqueous system would remain valid during surface chelation at the interface, while in actual practice, the specificity based on metal ion is neither valid nor useful where the cations participating in the complexation reactions are the same, for example separation among the calcium minerals.It is clear that a selective reagent should be based on the reagent interactions not merely with the metal ion on the surface, but with the whole surface. It is more appropriate to design reagents having functional groups so spaced that those are compatible with the relative positions of the metal ion sites available on the surface, that is, to design not just metalspecificbut structure-specific reagents. The understandings of molecular interactions involved in the recognition of surfaces by organic molecules in biomineralization process suggest the possibility of reagents specific to the crystal structure. These understandings have been successfully applied to the rational design and synthesis of molecules either for the control of crystal morphology or to inhibitcrystal growth processes through the recognition of specific crystal surfaces. The idea of molecules consisting of two groups having appropriate spacing between them to achieve structural compatibility during interaction with surface exhibit structure-specificity is of direct relevance to the reagents selectivity in flotation processes. The present investigation aims to develop and distinguish mineral specific reagents with two functional groups for use in flotation of calcium containing minerals. For this purpose, a series of dicarboxylate-based surfactants with varying spacing between the carboxylate groups (one, two or three methylene groups) were synthesized. As reference, a surfactant withthe same alkyl chain length but with only one carboxylate group in the polar part was synthesized. The adsorption behavior of these new reagents on pure apatite, calcite and fluorite mineral surfaces was studied using Hallimond tube flotation, ζ-potential and FTIR measurements. The relation between the adsorption behavior of a given surfactant on a specific mineral surface and its molecular structure over a range of concentration and pH values, as well as the region of maximum recovery were established. It was found that one of the reagents, with a specific distance between the carboxylate groups, was much moreselective for a particular mineral surface than the other homologues synthesized. This selective adsorption of a given surfactant to a particular mineral surface relative to other mineral surfaces as evidenced in flotation studies is substantiated by ζ-potential and infrared spectroscopy data. Our investigation revealed that it is possible to design and develop mineral specific reagents in flotation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2014.
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
Research subject
Mineral Processing
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-18421Local ID: 88b97431-ae2b-426e-b82d-8bf62bfca6aeISBN: 978-91-7439-949-3 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7439-950-9 (electronic)OAI: diva2:991430
Godkänd; 2014; 20140430 (andbra); Nedanstående person kommer att hålla licentiatseminarium för avläggande av teknologie licentiatexamen. Namn: Tommy Karlkvist Ämne: Mineralteknik/Mineral Processing Uppsats: Design and Development of Mineral Structure Specific Collectors in Flotation Examinator: Professor Kota Hanumantha Rao, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Luleå tekniska universitet Diskutant: PhD, Principal Scientist Beena Rai, Tata Research Development and Design Centre, Pune, India Tid: Fredag den 13 juni 2014 kl 10.00 Plats: F531, Luleå tekniska universitetAvailable from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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