UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Selection of reagents based on surface chemistry as derived from micro-FTIR mapping of coal surface to facilitate selectivity in coal flotation Wei, Wang; Kumar, Amit; Holuszko, M. E.; Mastalerz, Maria D.


In this study, the micro-FTIR analysis was used to investigate in-situ surface properties of coal and its components (macerals) and these were directly correlated to the coal hydrophobicity as measured by the contact angle before and after reagent addition to understand the suitability of the reagent for flotation. The micro-FTIR technique can provide a semi-quantitative analysis of the chemical functional groups on coal surface, exactly where the contact angle is being measured. Selected functional groups and their ratios that provide information about aromaticity, the contribution of oxygenated groups, and aliphaticity are used to evaluate the reactivity between reagents and various coal components. The observations made in relation to the susceptibility of some reagents towards certain coal components should lead the way to a smarter way of using process design in terms of reagents selection for coal flotation.

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