Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type



Metallurgical Engineering

Committee Chair

Courtney Young

First Advisor

Hsin-Hsiung Huang

Second Advisor

Rodney James


Cyclic Voltammetry experiments have been conducted on copper, iron, and chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) and compared to mass-balanced EH-pH Diagrams. Potassium ethyl xanthate (KEX) was added to solution and additional voltammetry experiments were performed to determine the surface chemistry reactions of flotation collector in solution with these minerals. The ultimate goal of this research was to investigate the possibility of xanthate chemisorption onto the chalcopyrite mineral surface. Results of the copper mineral testing confirm previous literature studies and corroborate published isotherm data. Results of the iron mineral testing showed changes in surface reactions with the addition of potassium ethyl xanthate to solution, however, these results were not attributed to the chemisorption of xanthate. Results of the chalcopyrite mineral testing indicate that the surface of the mineral oxidizes to chalcocite (Cu2S). In the presence of ethyl xanthate, small currents were observed and attributed to chemisorption of the potassium ethyl xanthate at the chalcocite surface, suggesting that the mineral's hydrophobicity is induced by more than dixanthogen. This phenomenon was found to be pH-dependent under a range of alkaline conditions (i.e., pH 7-12) at narrow potentials (i.e., 0 to -200mV).


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Science in Metallurgical Engineering

Included in

Metallurgy Commons