Magnetic separation of pentlandite from serpentine by selective magnetic coating

  • Ji-wei Lu
  • Zhi-tao YuanEmail author
  • Xiao-fei GuoEmail author
  • Zhong-yun Tong
  • Li-xia Li


In this study, pentlandite was selectively separated from serpentine using magnetic coating technology by adjusting and optimizing pH, stirring speeds, magnetic field intensities, and dosages of sodium hexametaphosphate (SHMP) and sodium oleate (SO). A magnetic concentrate with Ni grade of 20.8% and Ni recovery of 80.5% was attained under the optimized operating conditions. Considering the above, the adsorption behaviors of SHMP and SO and the surface properties of minerals after the magnetic coating were studied by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results show that magnetite was preferentially coated on the pentlandite surfaces and sparingly coated on the serpentine surfaces in the presence of SHMP and SO. Furthermore, calculations by Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory indicate that the preferential adsorption of magnetite on the pentlandite surfaces is due to the presence of a hydrophobic interaction between the magnetite and pentlandite, which is much stronger than the interaction between magnetite and serpentine.


dispersant coagulant magnetic coating magnetic separation hydrophobic interaction 


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This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51704057), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2017M621153), the Postdoctoral Science Foundation of Northeastern University (No. 20170312), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. N170104018), and the Open Fund Project of Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Comprehensive Utilization of Tailings Resources, China (No. 2017SKY-WK012).


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Copyright information

© University of Science and Technology Beijing and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Resources and Civil EngineeringNortheastern UniversityShenyangChina
  2. 2.School of Mining EngineeringUniversity of Science and Technology LiaoningAnshanChina
  3. 3.Shaanxi Key Laboratory for the Comprehensive Utilization of Tailings ResourcesShangluo UniversityShangluoChina

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