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Minerals 2019, 9(2), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020079

Hydrodynamic and Flotation Kinetic Analysis of a Large Scale Mechanical Agitated Flotation Cell with the Typical Impeller and the Arc Impeller

1
Beijing Engineering Research Center on Efficient and Energy Conservation Equipment of Mineral Processing, BGRIMM Machinery & Automation Technology Co. LTD., Beijing 100160, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Mineral Processing, BGRIMM Technology Group, Beijing 100160, China
3
School of the Mechanical Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
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Abstract

The processing of low grade mineral ores using large scale flotation cells is obviously more advantageous than smaller-scale processing. Large-scale flotation cells have become increasingly important for effective volume scale-up. In this study, the latest and largest flotation cell in China, with an effective volume of 680 m3, is considered. Hydrodynamics and flotation kinetics analyses are conducted using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation. It is demonstrated that the flotation cell with a typical impeller produces suitable hydrodynamics for mineral particles based on analysis of the flow pattern, gas dispersion and solid suspension. The performance of the large-scale flotation cell is studied using hydrodynamic performance parameters. The variation of the performance parameters, such as the power number (Np), the Froude number (Fr), the air flow number (Na), and so on, with the flotation cell volumes, followed trends similar to that of previous cells of a different size, which were proven to be effective for engineering applications. To decrease the detachment of mineral particles, a new type of impeller, for which the impeller plate is a hyperbolic curve, viz. an arc impeller, was developed. Compared with the typical impeller, the arc impeller expands and lifts the low circulating flow, thereby shortening the transportation distance of the mineral particles. The data indicates that kinetic eddy dissipation plays a key role in determining the collision kernel and collision probability profile. The newly designed arc impeller leads to a higher collision probability than the typical impeller, resulting in better flotation performance. This research should aid in the optimization of the structure of the 680 m3 flotation cell. View Full-Text
Keywords: scale-up; computational fluid dynamics simulation; hydrodynamics number; flotation kinetics; optimization scale-up; computational fluid dynamics simulation; hydrodynamics number; flotation kinetics; optimization
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Shen, Z.; Zhang, M.; Fan, X.; Shi, S.; Han, D. Hydrodynamic and Flotation Kinetic Analysis of a Large Scale Mechanical Agitated Flotation Cell with the Typical Impeller and the Arc Impeller. Minerals 2019, 9, 79.

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