Potassium Amyl Xanthate (or PAX) is a yellowish to gray coloured inorganic compound having the formula C5H11OCSSK. This is a kind of an organosulphur salt and are also referred to as esters of Xanthic Acid. It tends to decompose when combined with a strong acid like Hydrochoric Acid, and also forms Xanthate esters when alkylated. Such Esters are quite chemically stable. They are most widely used as flotation agents in the processing of minerals.
Potassium Amyl Xanthate is normally synthesized by first dissolving Potassium Hydroxide in Ethanol. Then Carbon Disulphide was added and continuously stirred in this solution, leading to the formation of a precipitate. The precipitate was recrystallized by dissoluting it in Acetone and then reprecipitating it with Diethyl Ether. The final product is Potassium Amyl Xanthate which was filtered out, dried, and then sent for further size processing to meet the customer demands.
PAX is widely used as a flotating agent for the production of nonferrous metallic minerals. It also acts as a strong collector for the flotation of oxide minerals such as Copper Nickel Sulfide, Oxidised Sulfide, Copper Ores, and Lead Ores.
It is used in hydrometallurgical processes and applicable as a vulcanization accelerator for rubber industry.