Document Type: Original Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Mining Engineering, Lorestan University, Khorramabad, Iran

2 School of Civil, Mining, and Environmental Engineering, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6000

Abstract

The influence of microwave treatment on the surface roughness, hydrophobicity, and chemical composition of galena was studied. The pure galena specimens and purified galena concentrate were used in this work. A conventional multi-modal oven (with a frequency of 2.45 GHz and a maximum power of 900 W) was used to conduct the experiments. The results obtained from the atomic-force microscopy analysis showed that the surface roughness of galena decreased after the microwave radiation. The results also showed that the surface hydrophobicity of galena increased with increase in the duration of the microwave radiation, which was in good agreement with the micro-flotation mass recovery results. The increased surface hydrophobicity may be attributed to the decreased surface roughness by microwave radiation or formation of sulfur on the surface. The results of the SEM/EDS analyses indicated that after microwave radiation, the amount of S increased, whereas Pb decreased on the surface of galena, indicating that the average atomic number of the galena surface changed due to microwave treatment.

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