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|The selective depression of pyrite from the Kentucky No. 9 coal seam was systematically examined using various kinds of inorganic and organic chemicals. Most of the organic chemicals tested showed little selectivity in pyrite depression. It was found that both orthophosphate and pyrophosphate were effective for the selective depression of coal pyrite in coal flotation using fuel oil as a collector. At substantially low concentrations of pyrophosphate, the flotation of coal pyrite was completely depressed over a wide pH range, while the coal flotation remained unaffected. The mechanism of the selective depression of pyrite by phosphates was explained with the help of thermodynamic calculations of iron-phosphate-water systems and zeta-potential measurements. It was shown that pyrophosphate reacts strongly with the iron ions of pyrite to form stable hydrophilic iron pyrophosphate complexes on pyrite surfaces.|