The dispersion degree of the mineral particles in the pulp is especially relevant regarding the performance of the cationic reverse flotation of iron ores. The gangue minerals should remain dispersed while hematite particles should be selectively flocculated. The present study addressed determinations of dispersion degree and zeta potential of hematite in the presence of different dispersants, classified as organic polymeric (natural and synthetic), organic monomeric, and inorganic. Special attention was paid to results achieved at pH 10, used in plant practice. For natural organic polymers, correlation was observed between the dispersion degree and the increase in the negative value of zeta potential. Some synthetic organic polymers enhance the dispersion of hematite particles despite not affecting significantly the zeta potential. Sodium silicates, irrespectively of the SiO2/Na2O ratio, at pH 10, did not impact significantly either the dispersion degree or the zeta potential.
dispersion degree; zeta potential; dispersants; hematite