Effect of Nonionic Surfactants on Chalcopyrite Leaching Under Dump Chemical Conditions, Part 2
Description:Previous research by the U.S. Bureau of Mines demonstrated that nonionic surfactants increased the leaching rate of copper in the flask leaching of chalcopyrite with ferric sulfate if sufficient ferric sulfate was present. This research was continued by the Bureau in Part 2 to further explore the application of nonionic surfactants to the dump leaching of chalcopyrite. A polyoxyethylene lauryl ether was selected as the superior nonionic surfactant tested at 25° and 50° C. The addition of the surfactant increased copper leaching by 116 pct at 25° C and 1.0 pct solids and by 61 pct at 50° C and 0.5 pct solids at Fe 3+ concentrations greater than 1 g/L. At 0.1.0 g/L Fe 3+ and below, the addition of the surfactant produced as much as a 35 pct decrease in leaching. Each of the nonionic surfactants studied was found to be heavily adsorbed by a typical chalcopyrite ore, which poses a serious barrier to the application of nonionic surfactants in an actual chalcopyrite dump.
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