4-8 July 2016
Kramer Law building
Africa/Johannesburg timezone
The Proceedings of SAIP2016 published on 24 December 2017
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Interactions of xanthates and dithiophosphate on (110) nickel-rich pentlandite (Fe4Ni5S8) mineral surface

Presented by Mr. Peace MKHONTO on 5 Jul 2016 from 14:00 to 14:20
Type: Oral Presentation
Track: Track A - Division for Physics of Condensed Matter and Materials


<i>Ab-initio</i> density functional theory was employed to investigate the adsorption of sodium ethyl xanthate (SEX), sodium isobutyl xanthate (SIBX) and diethyl dithiophosphate (DEDTP) collectors on the nickel-rich pentlandite Fe<sub>4</sub>Ni<sub>5</sub>S<sub>8</sub> (110) surface. Two adsorption sites have been considered; the Ni-top and Fe-top sites. The electron density of the clean (110) surface is found to be high on Ni atoms than on Fe atoms suggesting a strong covalent bonding. Furthermore, the results show that the adsorbates coordinate mainly to the surface through interaction between their S atoms with the surface Fe or Ni atoms; the sulphur atoms of these thiol collectors being the centre of reactivity. The adsorption energies showed that DEDTP adsorbs stronger than the xanthates, and the predicted adsorption strength follows the order as: DEDTP > SIBX > SEX for both Ni-top and Fe-top sites. The DOS and Bader charge analysis suggest that the xanthates act as electron donors while the DEDTP has an electron accepting character at the surface. These properties suggest that the DEDTP exhibit good selectivity in the separation of pentlandites as compared to SIBX and SEX xanthates. This study offers an insight into the collecting performance of SEX, SIBX and DEDTP on (110) nickel-rich pentlandite mineral surface, which could guide recovery operations.






Phuti E. Ngoepe, phuti.ngoepe@ul.ac.za, University of Limpopo






Location: Kramer Law building
Address: UCT Middle Campus Cape Town
Room: LT1

Primary authors

  • Mr. Peace MKHONTO Materials Modelling Centre, School of Physical and Mineral Sciences, University of Limpopo, Private Bag x1106, Sovenga, 0727