Application of Pulp Chemistry to Regulation of Chemical Environment in Sulphide Mineral Flotation

Woodcock JT,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 37
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1984
This paper reviews the chemistry of flotation pulps with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the effect of chemical environment in flotation and ap- plying the knowledge to improving the con- trol of reagent additions. Theories of flotation are considered briefly, but they are only of limited help in specifying an appropriate chemical environment and in establishing control techniques. The chemical nature of flotation pulps is reviewed. Four distinct phases are present - solids, an aqueous liquor con- taining many dissolved reactive sub- stances, organic liquids, and gases. All of these vary in many ways and interact with each other. It has now been estab- lished that there are many previously- unsuspected materials present in plant pulps that can or might affect flotation. Concentration profiles of selected para- meters in operating plants are given to show some typical changes that occur. Recent advances in collector chemistry, especially that of xanthate and related species, are reviewed. Modes of decompo- sition and/or formation in pulps of xan- thate, dixanthogen, perxanthate, xanthyl thiosulphate, and monothiocarbonate are reviewed, and their W absorption spectra are compared. Some relevant information on dithiophosphates, mercaptobenzothia- zole, and thionocarbamate is summarized, and some speculative comments are made about reactions of these collectors.
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