Next Article in Journal
High Strain Rate Behavior of Aluminum Alloy for Sheet Metal Forming Processes
Previous Article in Journal
Microstructure and Mechanical Evolution of Cu-2.7Be Sheets via Annealing
Previous Article in Special Issue
Depression of Pyrite in Seawater Flotation by Guar Gum
Open AccessArticle

Describing Mining Tailing Flocculation in Seawater by Population Balance Models: Effect of Mixing Intensity

1
Water Research Center for Agriculture and Mining (CRHIAM), Concepción 4030000, Chile
2
Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Universidad Arturo Prat, Almirante Juan José Latorre 2901, Antofagasta 1244260, Chile
3
Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Procesos de Minerales, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Antofagasta, Av. Angamos 601, Antofagasta 1240000, Chile
4
Departamento de Ingeniería Metalúrgica y Minas, Universidad Católica del Norte, Av. Angamos 610, Antofagasta 1270709, Chile
5
Department of Mining, Geological and Cartographic Department, Universidad Politecnica de Cartagena, 30202 Murcia, Spain
6
Department of Chemical Engineering and Laboratory of Surface Analysis (ASIF), Universidad de Concepción, PO Box 160-C, Correo 3, Concepción 4030000, Chile
7
Escuela de Ingeniería Química, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2020, 10(2), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10020240
Received: 7 January 2020 / Revised: 28 January 2020 / Accepted: 29 January 2020 / Published: 11 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing and Hydrometallurgy)
A population balance model (PBM) is used to describe flocculation of particle tailings in seawater at pH 8 for a range of mixing intensities. The size of the aggregates is represented by the mean chord length, determined by the focused beam reflectance measurement (FBRM) technique. The PBM follows the dynamics of aggregation and breakage processes underlying flocculation and provides a good approximation to the temporal evolution of aggregate size. The structure of the aggregates during flocculation is described by a constant or time-dependent fractal dimension. The results revealed that the compensations between the aggregation and breakage rates lead to a correct representation of the flocculation kinetics of the tailings of particles in seawater and, in addition, that the representation of the flocculation kinetics in optimal conditions is equally good with a constant or variable fractal dimension. The aggregation and breakage functions and their corresponding parameters are sensitive to the choice of the fractal dimension of the aggregates, whether constant or time dependent, however, under optimal conditions, a constant fractal dimension is sufficient. The model is robust and predictive with a few parameters and can be used to find the optimal flocculation conditions at different mixing intensities, and the optimal flocculation time can be used for a cost-effective evaluation of the quality of the flocculant used.
Keywords: clay-based copper tailings; fractal dimension; mixing intensity; population balance model; seawater flocculation clay-based copper tailings; fractal dimension; mixing intensity; population balance model; seawater flocculation
MDPI and ACS Style

Quezada, G.R.; Ayala, L.; Leiva, W.H.; Toro, N.; Toledo, P.G.; Robles, P.; Jeldres, R.I. Describing Mining Tailing Flocculation in Seawater by Population Balance Models: Effect of Mixing Intensity. Metals 2020, 10, 240.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop