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9th June 2023

Presentation - Centre Chief Investigator Dr Susana Brito e Abreu presents as part of JKMRC Seminar Series (UQ)

Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre, Sustainable Minerals Institute Speaker: Dr Susana Brito e Abreu

Advanced surface characterisation – the next frontier in minerals research

Watch the video here: 

Presentation Abstract: In mineral processing, the separation of valuable minerals from the waste (gangue) by froth flotation is dependent on the interaction between the valuable minerals and air bubbles. For mineral particles to successfully attach to air bubbles and be recovered, their surfaces need to be sufficiently hydrophobic (i.e. water-repellent). This property, in turn, is determined by the mineral surface chemistry of the particles which can be manipulated by the addition of flotation reagents (collectors, depressants, activators, etc.) and controlling pulp chemistry conditions. The surface chemistry can also be inadvertently altered during comminution (i.e. oxidation during grinding), by the process water quality (i.e. ion speciation and residual reagents), and interactions between different minerals (i.e. galvanic interactions). However, ascertaining the surface properties of mineral particles in complex mineral systems is challenging. With recent advances in surface analytical techniques, such as Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry, X‑Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy, acquiring mineral-specific surface chemistry information within complex mineral mixtures is now possible. In this seminar, some examples of these capabilities and future directions to advance mineral characterisation will be shown.

Bio: Susana Brito e Abreu is a Chief Investogator with the ARC Centre of Exellence for Enabling Eco-Efficient beneficiation of Minerals (COEMInerals)

She has a background in Chemical Engineering and has completed her PhD in Minerals Engineering from The Wark, University of South Australia, where she specialised in the application of surface analysis in minerals research, in particular, Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry. She has a special interest in the complex interplay between ore mineralogy, mineral surface properties and process behaviour. Susana’s research is focused on understanding the chemistry drivers of flotation and devising solutions to improve separation efficiency (e.g. plant flotation performance). Susana is driving her research to advance the surface characterisation tools for mineral processing studies.