An investigation into the selective flotation of bastnaesite using the innovative collector HABTC: A comprehensive examination of the underlying mechanism

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Department of Chemical Engineering


To adequately utilize the critical rare earth resource by flotation, finding effective collectors has attracted increasing attention in the mining industry. A promising collector group is dithiocarbamate ester surfactant. In this study, S-[(2-hydroxyamino)-2-oxoethyl]-N, N-dibutyl-dithiocarbamate (HABTC), S-[(2-hydroxyamino)-2-oxoethyl]-N, N-dipropyl-dithiocarbamate (HAPTC), and S-[(2-hydroxyamino)-2-oxoethyl]-N, N-diethyl-dithiocarbamate (HAETC), were employed in the flotation of bastnaesite. The flotation performance achieved using HABTC was found to be the most satisfactory, aligned with the hydrophobicity determination by CLogP. Additionally, the adsorption mechanism of HABTC towards bastnaesite surfaces was systematically evaluated. Zeta potential measurements provided evidence of a chemisorption interaction between bastnaesite and HABTC. Results obtained from FTIR and XPS analyses indicated that HABTC likely underwent a reaction with the Ce (III) atoms present on the surface of bastnaesite. This reaction was hypothesized to occur through the O and S atoms of the N-C([dbnd]S), S[sbnd]C, and [sbnd]C([dbnd]O) N[sbnd]OH groups in HABTC, leading to the formation of complexes. The universal mechanism found in this work provides considerable potential for the extensive application of HABTC within rare earth flotation.

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Minerals Engineering