Apatite enrichment by rare earth elements: A review of the effects of surface properties
Owens, CL; Nash, GR; Hadler, K; et al.Fitzpatrick, RS; Anderson, CG; Wall, F
Date: 29 January 2019
Advances in Colloid and Interface Science
Apatite subspecies depend on their halogen and hydroxyl content; chlorapatite, hydroxylapatite and fluorapatite, with additional substitution of other elements within the lattice such as rare earth elements (REE), sodium, strontium and manganese also possible. Rare earth elements are vital to green and emerging technologies, with demand ...
Apatite subspecies depend on their halogen and hydroxyl content; chlorapatite, hydroxylapatite and fluorapatite, with additional substitution of other elements within the lattice such as rare earth elements (REE), sodium, strontium and manganese also possible. Rare earth elements are vital to green and emerging technologies, with demand set to outstrip supply. Apatite provides a possible future source of REE. Processing rare earth deposits is often complex, with surface behaviour having a significant effect on the optimization of a process flow sheet. The effect of enrichment of natural apatite and the doping of synthetic apatite on surface behaviour can be determined by measuring the zeta potential and the isoelectric point of the mineral. In this paper, we review zeta potential studies of natural and synthetic apatite to determine the effect of elemental enrichment on surface behaviour. Fifty three studies of natural apatite and forty four studies of synthetic apatite were reviewed. The isoelectric point of apatite varied from pH 1 to pH 8.7, with studies of apatite specified to be >90% pure reducing the variation to pH 3 to pH 6.5. Of the four studies of rare earth enriched apatite found, three had IEP values between pH 3 and pH 4. A study of synthetic apatite showing enrichment of between 1 and 10% by the REE europium does not affect surface behaviour. However, no studies were found that investigated the effect of common REE processing reagents on REE enriched apatite zeta potentials. Therefore, in addition to comparing previous studies we also therefore present new zeta potential measurements of apatite from a REE enriched deposit under water and common flotation collector conditions. The IEP value of this apatite under water conditions was at pH 3.6, shifting to <3.5 under both hydroxamic acid and betacol conditions. When compared to previous studies, the behaviour of REE enriched apatite under collector conditions is similar to non-REE apatite. This result could be important for future processing of apatite enriched with REE, and therefore global apatite and rare earth supply.
Camborne School of Mines
College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
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