Typical roles of metal ions in mineral flotation: A review

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Department of Chemical Engineering


In flotation, metal ions possess significant roles that are usually fulfilled by either selectively activating or depressing the target minerals. Despite that tremendous efforts have been made to address the roles of metal ions in flotation, it still lacks a comprehensive review, especially to compare various ions instead of focusing on a specific one. This review begins by elaborately categorizing the factors involved in affecting the roles of metal ions in flotation. After that, well-accepted mechanisms are updated and discussed from the ore type. Furthermore, typical approaches to explore the underlying mechanisms are emphasized, including traditional techniques such as micro-flotation, contact angle measurement, zeta potential measurement, and other recent prevailing methodologies, like computational method, solution chemistry calculation, and cyclic voltammetry. This work will pave the way to promote flotations via activities like selectively adding/reducing metal ions, choosing reagents, and regulating the slurry chemistry.

Publication Title

Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China (English Edition)