(609g) Molecular Insights into the Interfacial Driving Forces behind Monazite Beneficiation | AIChE

(609g) Molecular Insights into the Interfacial Driving Forces behind Monazite Beneficiation


Gibson, L. - Presenter, California State Polytechnic University Pomona
Bocharova, V., Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Doughty, B., Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Sacci, R., Oak Ridge Naitonal Laboratory
Thiele, N., Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Bryantsev, V. S., Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Monazite is a rare-earth element (REE) mineral and is one of the most important primary sources of REE production.1 However, monazite is often intermixed with a variety of undesirable minerals that must be separated prior to REE production. Froth flotation is a commonly used beneficiation process that floats monazite particles to the surface of a ground mineral slurry for collection while the rest of the slurry is sent to tailings as waste. This flotation process is driven by the increased hydrophobicity that arises as collector agents selectively adsorb onto the surface of monazite. To help maximize the recovery of monazite during beneficiation, our work has focused on characterizing the interfacial interactions between collector agents and the monazite surface. This talk will describe our joint computational and spectroscopic efforts to benchmark the performance of promising ORNL-designed ligands against a commercially available collector agent. Structural and dynamical insights (e.g., binding poses and surface affinities) from ab initio molecular dynamics simulations and surface sensitive spectroscopic techniques will be presented to highlight the governing interactions that drive ligand adsorption onto {100}-monazite. The fundamental insights from this work will help guide the design of future collector agents for enhanced monazite beneficiation.


[1] R. Eggert, C. Wadia, C. Anderson, D. Bauer, F. Fields, L. Meinert and P. Taylor, “Rare Earths: Market Disruption, Innovation, and Global Supply Chains”, Ann. Rev. Environ. Resour., 2016, 41, 199-222.