A Micro-Scale Investigation of the Adsorption of Collectors on Bastnaesite

Jinhong Zhang, Dongbo An, James Withers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A micro-scale investigation was carried out by applying atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study in situ the adsorption of various collectors, i.e., oleic acid, octanohydroxamic acid (HA), and salicylhydroxamic acid (SHA), on bastnaesite in aqueous solutions. The obtained AFM images show that the surface morphology of bastnaesite changes greatly after it comes into contact with the solutions of the collectors, suggesting that all these collectors can effectively adsorb onto bastnaesite. Increasing temperature can facilitate the adsorption of oleic acid onto bastnaesite. Results from attenuated total reflectance–Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (ATR-FTIR) also show that all of these collectors adsorb strongly onto bastnaesite, with strong absorbance spectra being detected. The ATR-FTIR results confirm those obtained by AFM. In general, hydroxamic acid collectors (HA and SHA) adsorb onto bastnaesite mainly in the form of insoluble metal hydroxamate. This specific adsorption mechanism explains that a high selectivity with a moderate collectivity will be achieved with a hydroxamic acid collector for the flotation of bastnaesite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-966
Number of pages10
JournalMining, Metallurgy and Exploration
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • AFM
  • Bastnaesite
  • Collector
  • FTIR
  • Hydroxamic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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