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Effect of microwave treatment on the surface properties of chalcopyrite

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2018, Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 141-147

Azghdi, S.M.S.; Barani, K.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.19150/mmp.8463


The effect of microwave treatment on the surface roughness and wettability of chalcopyrite (CuFeS2 ) and on the chemical composition of its surface was studied. The microwave source was a conventional multimodal oven with frequency of 2.45 GHz and maximum power of 900 W. Pure chalcopyrite specimens and purified chalcopyrite concentrate were used in this study. Analysis using atomic force microscopy showed a decrease in the surface roughness of the chalcopyrite after microwave radiation. This decrease may be due to oxidation of the surface and formation of iron oxide. Moreover, the surface wettability of the chalcopyrite mineral increased with increasing duration of microwave radiation, which was in good agreement with the micro-flotation mass recovery results. The increased wettability of the surface may be attributed to the decreased surface roughness by microwave radiation. Analysis using scanning electron microscope/energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy indicate that after microwave radiation, the contents of sulfur and iron increased whereas that of copper decreased on the surface of the chalcopyrite, significantly changing the average atomic number of the chalcopyrite surface.