The Role of Oxygen in Xanthate Flotation of Galena, Pyrite and Chalcopyrite

CIM Bulletin, 1970

I. B. KLYMOWSKY and T. SALMAN, Department of Metallurgical Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, Que

A study was made to determine the effect of increasing concentrations of dissolved oxygen on the floatability of galena pyrite and chalcopyrite. Adsorption, flotation and contact-angle tests were done in deoxygenated, in airsaturated and in oxygen-saturated solutions. The results showed that the adsorption of collector increased as the concentration of oxygen increased. Adsorption followed the exponential law r = kC'/"• Discontinuities in the curves were observed after the adsorption of several monolayers of collector. Although adsorption increased with increasing oxygen concentration, the floatability of the pyrite minerals did not increase, because oxidation had adverse effects on the floatability of these minerals. The floatability of galena was maximum in oxygen-saturated solutions, pyrite was depressed and chalcopyrite was also slightly depressed. Contact-angle tests proved that a bubble could not be attached to large flat surfaces in deoxygenated solutions, because sufficient surface free energy was not available for adhesion after the deformation of the bubble. In the presence of air, all the minerals yielded the same maximum angle of 72 degrees, characteristic of isopropyl xanthate.
Keywords: Adsorption, chalcopyrite, Galena., Galvanic Cell Oxygen Analyzer, Xanthate Adsorption Studies, Xanthate Flotation of Pyrite, flotation, Galena, mineral, minerals, Oxygen, pyrite