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Heat-Assisted Batch Settling of Mineral Suspensions in Inclined Containers

1
Laboratory for Rheology and Fluid Dynamics, Department of Mining Engineering, Universidad de Chile, Beauchef 850, 8370448 Santiago, Chile
2
Advanced Mining Technology Center, Universidad de Chile, Tupper 2007, 8370451 Santiago, Chile
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universidad de Antofagasta, Av. Angamos 601, 1240000 Antofagasta, Chile
4
Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Procesos de Minerales, Universidad de Antofagasta, Av. Angamos 601, 1240000 Antofagasta, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2019, 9(4), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9040228
Received: 2 February 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
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Abstract

In mineral processing, the common requirement for progressively finer milling due to the decreasing of ore grades implies the need for more challenging water recovery conditions in thickeners. Several mining operations exist in arid areas, where water recovery becomes critical. The present paper explores the process of particle separation in batch inclined settlers where the downward facing wall is subject to heating. To this purpose, two-dimensional numerical simulations using a mixture model have been run for a number of combinations of temperature jumps at the downward facing fall, particle diameters, and concentrations. Results show that, for particle sizes on the order of 10 µm, heating has a significant effect on the particle settling velocity at the bottom, but it also promotes particle resuspension, affecting the particle concentration at the supernatant layer. The initial concentration also affects settling: for the concentration range tested (8%–15% by volume), when re-normalized by the average concentration, particle accumulation rates at the bottom were found to be lower for higher average concentrations, thus suggesting that the separation process is more efficient at lower concentrations. View Full-Text
Keywords: thickening; water recovery; Boycott effect; tailings; settling velocity; natural convection thickening; water recovery; Boycott effect; tailings; settling velocity; natural convection
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Reyes, C.; Ihle, C.F.; Apaz, F.; Cisternas, L.A. Heat-Assisted Batch Settling of Mineral Suspensions in Inclined Containers. Minerals 2019, 9, 228.

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