Xanthates: Knowing Their Types and Differences
What are Xanthates?
Xanthates are popular chemicals used in the mining industry and froth floatation process. They are usually yellow. The word Xanthates is a derivative of the Greek word 'Xantho' which means yellow or golden. These chemicals are organosulfur compounds and as such have an odd odor.
Xanthates are used in the mining industry for the floating process. They are used for the extraction of gold, ores, and similar elements. They are also used in the production of polymers and cellophane from cellulose. These chemicals are harmful and have a toxic effect on the human body and the environment. They are also combustible and can explode if exposed to fire.
There are different types of Xanthates. Each of them is slightly different from one another. The most prominent types of Xanthates are:
- Sodium Ethyl Xanthate (SEX)
- Sodium Amyl Xanthate (SAX)
- Sodium Isopropyl Xanthate (SIPX)
- Sodium Isobutyl Xanthate (SIBX)
- Potassium Amyl Xanthate (PAX)
What is the difference between each type of Xanthate?
Each Xanthate is slightly different from the other. One may be more efficient in the collection of certain ores than the other. Likewise, some perform functions that may be unique to the type of Xanthate alone. Each of the Xanthates is further explained below.
Sodium Ethyl Xanthate (SEX)
Sodium Ethyl Xanthate can be in the form of a yellowish pellet or powdered form. It is a sodium salt form of C2 alkyl ethyl alcohol. The chemical is highly soluble in water. This Xanthate is known to be the strongest among Xanthates and a highly selective collector. The functions of Sodium Ethyl Xanthate are:
- It is a Xanthate that is popularly used in copper mines. It is a good floating agent and a collector in the mining of copper.
- It is a good floatation agent for activated or hydrophobic substances which are capable of floating easily. As such, it is good in the floatation of Zinc, Nickel, Cobalt, and Lead.
- It is used for the recovery of low-grade ores and is very effective in extracting sulfur ores.
- In hydrometallurgical processes, it can serve as a precipitant. It is helpful in the sulfidation of rubber and the refining of zinc electrolytes.
Pellet Sodium Ethyl Xanthate.
Sodium Amyl Xanthate (SAX)
Sodium Amyl Xanthate has a slightly yellow or gray-yellow color. It appears in both powder and pellet forms. It has pungent and a very odd odor. It is soluble in water and readily decomposes when exposed to acid or heat. It is also one of the most powerful collectors in Xanthates. Its uses are as follows:
- It is used as a collector in mining and precious metals extraction. It is a powerful collector and is in very high demand in the industry.
- It is effective as a floating agent for sulfide ores. It can be used to float Sulfide ores, Nickel, Copper, and even gold associated with pyrites.
- It is also effective in the floatation of non-ferrous metal minerals. As a powerful collector, it is efficient in rough and tough floatation processes.
- It is useful in different hydrometallurgical processes.
- It can aid vulcanization acceleration in the rubber industry.
Sodium Amyl Xanthate.
Sodium Isopropyl Xanthate (SIPX)
Sodium Isopropyl Xanthate (SIPX) is a Xanthate that can appear both in pellet and solid powder form. It is a yellowish-white color that is deliquescent while in powdered form. The pellet form may have a yellow or slightly green color. The solid powdered form has a pungent odor while the pellet form has an odor similar to that of sulfur.
SIPX is a Xanthate that seems to be more than ethyl Xanthates as a collector. Its various functions are highlighted below:
- It is a good collector for non-ferrous metallic sulfide minerals. It includes a polar group that is capable of absorbing into the surface of sulfide minerals.
- It is also useful in the pharmaceutical industry. It is used in the production of Pantoprazole and other pharmaceutical products.
- SIPX can also be used as an herbicide or can be used in the production of herbicides.
- It is used as a froth floatation agent in the Mercury separation process.
- It is useful in the rubber curing process and can also serve as an antioxidant.
Sodium Isopropyl Xanthate.
Sodium Isobutyl Xanthate (SIBX)
Sodium Isobutyl Xanthate (SIBX) is a pale-yellow crystalline shape or a powdered Xanthate. It can also be seen in a solution form which is not usually common. It is a hygroscopic substance capable of absorbing moisture from the atmosphere. It has an odor similar to that of Carbon disulfide. It is soluble in water and can form insoluble compounds with some metallic ions.
It is a popular collector and a floating agent. It is known for its credibility in floating non-ferrous metallic sulfide ores. Some of its functions are highlighted below:
- It is a credible floating agent for non-metallic sulfide ores. It is used for floating copper, zinc, lead, and other precious metals. It has also been proven to be a strong floating reagent for pyrites and copper ores.
- It is also efficient in rubber curing and vulcanization of rubber. It also serves as an antioxidant for rubbers.
- It is used in analytical procedures and as a fortifying agent for specific oils.
- It is a good chemical for making herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides as a result of its odor and presence of sulfur.
- It is used as a floating agent for Mercury separation.
- It can function as a lubricant additive for high-pressure lubrication.
Sodium Isobutyl Xanthate.
Potassium Amyl Xanthate (PAX)
Potassium Amyl Xanthate (PAX) is a yellow or pale-gray Xanthate that can exist both in pellet and powdered form. It sometimes exists in the form of a solution too. It has an unpleasant odor like that of Carbon disulfide. It is a hygroscopic chemical that can absorb moisture from the atmosphere. It is highly soluble in water.
PAX is an effective chemical in the mining and froth floatation process. Some of its functions are as follows:
- It is efficient as a collector for non-ferrous metallic ores as it is a non-selective collector.
- It is a good floating reagent for the floatation process of oxide sulfide, copper ores, and leads. It is also a good floating collector for auriferous pyrites and copper-nickel sulfide.
- It is also used as a collector in the scavenger floating operation in the mining industry.
- It is a rubber chemical used in different rubber processing and can also serve as a surface-active agent.
- It is also useful in pH correction when used with lime.
Potassium Amyl Xanthate.
Are the chemicals safe?
Xanthates are generally harmful and toxic chemicals. They are harmful to users when they are not properly handled. They can also cause harm to the environment when it is carelessly exposed to the atmosphere and water bodies. Xanthates are also combustible as a result of the presence of carbon disulfide. Therefore, they must be stored appropriately and handled with necessary precautionary measures to avoid harmful effects.
How are the chemicals made?
Xanthates are made through a process called Xanthation. It involves the reaction of carbon disulfide with alcohol and alkali. The reaction of alcohol and alkali gives alkoxide. It is then treated with CS2 to give a Xanthate. In some cases, the alkoxide may be generated by the reaction of alcohol and either Sodium hydroxide or Potassium hydroxide depending on the Xanthate to be formed.
Where to buy Xanthates in bulk?
You may be able to find Xanthates in small quantities in your area. But if you want to buy large quantities of Xanthates, it is preferable to import directly from the manufacturers. They can issue certifications and provide cost savings which are better than buying the chemical in small quantities locally or from a distributor.
If you require bulk quantities of this chemical, you can buy Xanthates on our website.
Which Countries Manufacture Xanthates?
The main producers of Xanthates are China, the USA, the UK, and India. Consumption and usage of these chemicals have increased dramatically across the world, especially in developing countries.
How are the chemicals exported?
Xanthates are shipped in different packages. They are usually shipped in 20ft containers or Iso Tanks over to the designated country. The packaging and transportation methods are safe and ensure the quality of the chemicals are not tempered with. The packages are;
- 50kg plastic woven bags.
- 100-120kg iron drums.
- 800-900kg wooden cases.
Where to buy Xanthates?
Here at Camachem, we have Xanthates for sale. We export worldwide, so you can contact us for a FREE quotation today via email at [email protected] or send a message on WhatsApp for a fast response +86-131-2037-9271.