The use of amphoteric surfactants as flotation collectors
AuthorSchroeder, Charles Warren
AdvisorSmith, Ross W.
Mining & Metallurgical Engineering
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Amphoteric collectors may be of considerable interest in the area of froth flotation because they combine in the same molecule positive and negative functional groups. Such structure in a collector molecule would indicate that unusual characteristics and interesting results are probable while these substances are in contact with mineral surfaces in aqueous environments. These surfactants are little known and the technical literature does not appear to contain any pertinent information as to their application to flotation; the present paper is intended to remedy in part this situation. The flotation response of quartz, alumina, and hematite in amphoteric collector solutions was investigated. Microflotation techniques were applied to the collection of the three pure minerals in 2 X 10-^ M solutions of three amphoteric agents with the trade names Deriphat 151, 154, and 160C. The range of collection was from pH 2-11. The electrokinetic properties of the minerals, which have a great effect on flotation behavior, were also studied. Additional tests using combinations of amphoteric surfactants and other cationic and anionic collectors, plus large scale floats, were carried out also. Results indicate that these amphoterics do indeed provide good collection, especially in the isoelectric range of the surfactants, but that selectivity was very difficult to obtain. Recovery ranged from 0% to 93.6%, and was considerably higher in acid media than in alkaline. The shape of the recovery curves gave an indication that for certain pH values a high degree of selectivity was possible, but other unknown or untested factors rendered this expectation invalid. While this presentation is primarily confined to reporting the data obtained and some of the more immediate conclusions, it is apparent that the results, in combination with those of other studies and with further testing of amphoteric surfactants in flotation, promise to provide a basis for a critical evaluation of the application of these collectors.
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molecule positive functional groups
molecule negative functional groups
flotation response of quartz
flotation response of alumina
flotation response of hematite
amphoteric collector solutions
large scale floats
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