Applied Surface Science, Vol.389, 103-111, 2016
The effect of water molecules on the thiol collector interaction on the galena (PbS) and sphalerite (ZnS) surfaces: A DFT study
In froth flotation the molecular interaction between reagents and mineral surfaces take place at the solid liquid interface. In this paper, the effect of water molecule on the three typical thiol collectors (xanthate, dithiocarbomate and dithiophosphate) interactions at the galena (PbS) and sphalerite (ZnS) surfaces has been studied adopting density functional theory (DFT). The results suggests that the presence of water molecule shows a greater influence on the electron distribution of ZnS surface than PbS surface, and reduce the reactivity of ZnS surface atoms but improves the reactivity of PbS surface atoms during the reaction with xanthate. Water adsorption could also reduce the covalent binding between Zn and S atoms but have little influence on Pb-S bond. In the presence of water, xanthate, dithiocarbomate (DTC) and dithiophosphate (DTP) could not adsorb on the sphalerite surface. And for galena (PbS) surface, the interaction of DTP is the strongest, then the DTC and the interaction of xanthate is the weakest. These results agree well with the flotation practice. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.