GALVANIC lNTERACTIONS BETWEEN]\fiNERALS

Paul Richard, Holmes
unpublished
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Engineering Johannesburg, 1994 I~ \\ DECLARATION. " I declare that this dissertation is my own, unaided work. It is being submitted for the Degree of Master of Science in Bngineeririg in the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. It has not been submitted before for any degree or examination in any other
more » ... any other University. i ABSTRACTo A quantitative description of galvanic interactions between sulphide minerals based on thermodynamic and kinetic parameters has been developed. The basis for quantitative description involves conducting a voltage balance over the galvanic couple. The contributions to the voltage balance include the galvanic couple cell emf, kinetic descriptions of the anodic and cathodic half reactions, the voltage characteristics 'of mineral-mineral contacts and solution voltage losses. The rates of the anodic and cathodic half' reactions were modelled by the Butler-Volmer equation and ti1ediffusion equation. A potentiostat was used to vary the voltages losses across mineral-mineral contacts. TIle galvanic couples were constructed. as rotating ring disc electrodes and hence electrolyte voltage losses were negligible. Three galvanic couples, copper-platinum, copper-pyrite and galena-pyrite, were electrochemically characterised under different conditions of ferric concentration, electrode rotation rate and temperature. The effect of illumination on the anodic dissolution of galena was investigated. The electrochemical model is in good agreement with experimentally measured galvanic currents. Galvanic interaction is a dynamic function and various models are developed which account for dynamic behaviour in galvanic cells. ii ACKNOWLEDGEl\1ENTS.
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