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Impact of the Fine Minerals Particles on Pentlandite Flotation Open Access


Other title
Zeta potential
Pentlandite flotation
Force measurements
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Kusuma, Andreas M
Supervisor and department
Liu, Qingxia (Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Zeng, Hongbo (Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Liu, Qingxia (Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Zeng, Hongbo (Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Liu, Qi (Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Materials Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
In this study, the interactions between pentlandite and gangue minerals (i.e. serpentine, olivine, magnesite) were investigated by directly measuring the zeta potential distributions. In addition, an atomic force microscope (AFM) was used to measure the interaction forces between a silicon nitride tip and gangue mineral surfaces. Flotation tests were performed to understand the impact of the fine gangue minerals on pentlandite recovery. The zeta potential distribution measurements indicated an attractive interaction between pentlandite and serpentine, and a repulsive interaction between pentlandite with both olivine and magnesite at about pH 10 in 10 mM KCl solution. AFM force measurements showed a repulsive interaction between an AFM tip with both serpentine and olivine surface, and a slight attraction between an AFM tip and a magnesite surface at pH 10 in 1 mM KCl solution. The repulsion between the tip and the serpentine surface is possibly due to the measurement being performed on the silica face of serpentine. The presence of olivine and magnesite did not show detrimental effect on pentlandite recovery, as opposed to the pentlandite depression observed in the presence of serpentine during the flotation at pH 10 in 5 x 10-4 M PAX solution. Similarly, the presence of serpentine also depresses pentlandite recovery at pH 2.5 in 5 x 10-4 M solution.
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