CAN ELECTROCHEMISTRY BE USED TO IMPROVE THE PERFORMANCE OF INDUSTRIAL FLOATATION CONCENTRATORS?
Paul E. Richardson
Wednesday, February 19, 1997, 3:30 p.m.
Ben Bandy Conference Room
Center for Applied Energy Research
Research during the past quarter century has made it abundantly clear that the reactions that confer hydrophobicity on sulfide minerals in flotation circuits are electrochemical in nature. Hence, slight changes in the redox potential of flotation pulps should provide a method of controlling and improving the separation of one sulfide from another.
More recently, it has been shown that the activation reactions that are used to modify sulfide mineral surfaces so that they respond to the collectors, e.g. cupric ion activation of sphalerite and pyrite, are electrochemical in nature and extremely sensitive to the redox potential assumed by minerals during activation. The feasibility of using another electrochemical technique, namely cathodic protection, to minimize materials loss in ball mills, and possibly to condition sulfide mineral surfaces during grinding, has also been demonstrated.