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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2016, Article ID 7614890, 6 pages
Research Article

Activation of Sphalerite by Ammoniacal Copper Solution in Froth Flotation

Xian Xie,1,2 Kai Hou,3 Bo Yang,1,2 and Xiong Tong1,2

1Faculty of Land and Resource Engineering, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming, Yunnan 650093, China
2State Key Laboratory of Complex Nonferrous Metal Resources Clean Utilization, Kunming 650093, China
3School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China

Received 13 October 2015; Accepted 15 February 2016

Academic Editor: Davide Vione

Copyright © 2016 Xian Xie et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The activation of sphalerite particles by ammoniacal copper solution (ACS) was investigated in this study. This microflotation study was conducted on a single sphalerite mineral with the particles size of 38 μm to 75 μm. Results showed that ACS has somewhat better activation effect than copper sulphate (a traditional activator) with sodium isobutyl xanthate as the collector. Agglomeration observation, contact angle measurement, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurement results of sphalerite particles verified the superiority of this new activator. Therefore, the substitution of copper sulphate with ACS would increase the separation efficiency not only in marmatite flotation but also in sphalerite flotation.