Advances in depressants used for pyrite flotation separation from coal/minerals

Yulong Li, Gan Cheng, Mengni Zhang, Yijun Cao, Ee Von Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Pyrite is separated from other minerals mainly by flotation. However, the hydrophilicity of pyrite is affected by many factors, causing it to easily enter the concentrate and consequently reduce the quality of concentrate. Highly efficient pyrite depressants can be selectively adsorbed on the surface of pyrite to improve its hydrophilicity, thereby increasing the flotation separation efficiency. Understanding the fundamental inhibition mechanism of depressants on pyrite is a prerequisite to improve the flotation desulfurization efficiency. The inhibition ability and mechanism of different types of pyrite depressants are reviewed in this manuscript. In recent years, molecular simulation has increasingly become a powerful tool to study the interaction between reagents and minerals, shedding new light on the adsorption mechanisms of reagents on mineral surfaces at the atomic and electronic levels. The properties of sulfide mineral and flotation reagents as well as the microscopic adsorption mechanistic studies of reagents on mineral surfaces based on quantum chemistry and molecular simulation are also reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number54
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Science & Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Coal
  • Depressant
  • Flotation
  • Mineral
  • Pyrite

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