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D.S. Corpuz, J.L. de Guzman and J.M. Golbin Department of Chemical Engineering, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
D.S. Corpuz, J.L. de Guzman and J.M. Golbin, 2008. Theoretical discussions predict that initial slurry concentration and height affect the sedimentation characteristics, particularly settling time and settling velocity. From experimental data, it was shown that the settling velocity of a mixture decreases with increasing concentration, yet reverses trend in the compression settling zone; and settling time needed to reach the final height increases with increasing initial slurry height. Keywords: compression settling, critical settling point, drag force, free settling, hindered settling, rate-limiting layer Stokes Law, terminal velocity OBJECTIVES The experiment aimed to observe the relationship of settling time with slurry concentration, as well as with initial slurry height. This experiment also intended to determine the behavior of settling velocity as the sedimentation process proceeds. The effect of slurry concentration with particle settling velocity was also studied. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND Sedimentation is one of the methods used in industry to separate liquid-liquid or solid-liquid mixtures. By definition, sedimentation is the separation of a dilute slurry or suspension by gravity settling into a clear fluid and a slurry of higher solids content (Geankoplis, 1993). The resulting liquid is essentially particle free. In industry, either the particle free liquid or the particles itself is the desired product. Basically, sedimentation is the movement of particles through a fluid. All throughout its motion, three forces act on the particle, namely, buoyant force, gravitational force, and drag force (Geankoplis, 1993). Buoyant force, Fb, is the upward force exerted by the fluid on the particle, and is given by the equation Equation 2 gives the terminal velocity for free settling wherein a particle is at a sufficient distance away from the wall and other particles (Geankoplis, 1993). In general, however, particles experience hindered settling, that is, the velocity gradients around each particle are affected by the presence of nearby particles (McCabe, 2001). The drag force in hindered settling is greater than in free settling because of the interference of the other particles, thus the settling velocity for hindered settling is less than that for free settling. (Geankoplis, 1993) The terminal velocity becomes a function of ε, the volume fraction of the slurry mixture occupied by the liquid. Several correlations have been developed to analyze settling velocity for hindered settling, and their methods and derivations are beyond the scope of this experiment. PROCEDURE The experiment involves the analysis of the effect of varying the height of the slurry and their concentrations on the sedimentation properties. To determine the effect of initial slurry height on sedimentation properties, three samples with the same concentration of 2.5% kaolin-water solution were made. Initial slurry of 800 mm, 600 mm and 400 mm were assigned. The slurry inside the vessel was ensured to have a homogenous characteristic by rigorously mixing and shaking the sedimentation cylinders. Starting at the same, the mixtures were allowed to settle, and at intervals of 2 minutes, the heights of the clear regions of the three samples were recorded. Total observation time was 2 hours. For the second part of the experiment, the effect of concentration on the sedimentation properties was analyzed. The volume (or height) of three new samples was made constant, and their concentrations are varied (2.5%, 5%, 7.5%). The heights of the clear regions were recorded with intervals of 2 minutes for the first two hours. The samples were left overnight and the last point was to be recorded at that period. For this experiment’s case, more than twenty-four hours was observed.
where m/ρp is the volume of the particle, ρ is the density of the liquid, and g is the gravitational constant. The gravitational force, Fg, on the particle is given by Newton’s Law as The drag force, FD, is the frictional resistance related to the velocity head of the fluid displaced by the moving body (Geankoplis, 1993) and is given by the equation
where CD is the dimensionless drag coefficient, and is velocity head. The drag coefficient is a function of the Reynolds number. In the laminar flow region where NRe<1, Stokes’ Law dominates and CD is given by (Geankoplis, 1993) (1) In sedimentation, the particles experience a period of accelerated fall and a period of constant velocity fall (Geankoplis, 1993). The constant velocity period is usually of more importance, as the accelerated fall period is very short relative to the constant velocity period. In the constant rate period, the particles reach a maximum settling velocity known as the terminal velocity, vt. The terminal velocity is determined by solving the velocity at which the sum of the three forces is equal to zero. Geankoplis gives the equation for the terminal velocity of spheres as (2) where Dp is the particle diameter.
4.cee. all particles settle at the same velocity and are assumed to approach rapidly the terminal velocities under hindered-settling conditions (Foust. as shown in Fig. different initial heights) Fig. Such a situation is called compression settling (www. 2 is a plot of the depth of the clear zone versus time. 2001). Initially. 1980). the concentrations of the three samples were kept constant and their initial height was varied. 1e shows the end state of the sedimentation process. 1d.edu).edu). 1980). the depths of zone A and D increase. the settling velocity for the different regions can be determined from the plot of liquid interface height versus time. as shown in Fig. 2001). cL (Foust. Tube 1: Determination of Velocity 900 800 Clear liquid interface height 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 -20 0 20 40 60 Settling time 80 100 120 140 Fig.ceeserver. while that of zone C remains constant. 1. During this stage. Determining the settling velocity . 1980). Batch Sedimentation (Source: McCabe. The settling rates during compression settling are very slow. The curve of the plot during the later stages of sedimentation is almost horizontal yet still almost linear. z. 2. In this zone. Heavier solids settle faster. that is. and force the residual liquid in zone D out upward through the solids into the clear liquid zone. Fig. The plot shows that during initial stages of sedimentation.00 Fig. as shown by the steep linear part of the plot. 1980). sedimentation occurs by compression. 1a. and the solids in zone C and D merge such that only zone D is distinct. it is the point at which a single distinct interface forms between the clear liquid and sediment (Foust. Beyond the critical settling point. the matrix of particles gets constrained from the bottom because of the bottom of the settling tank. Zone A is the region of clear liquid (Foust. Zone C is the transition region wherein the concentration is nonuniform and the sizes of the particles are varied (Foust.cornell. 1c (McCabe. Clear Liquid Interface vs. 1 below. Fig. Sedimentation design and calculations are based upon identifying the concentration of the layer having the lowest capacity for the passage of solids through it. By definition. 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0. Getting the zone settling velocity (Source: www. One of the objectives of this experiment is to determine the effect of varying initial slurry heights (or volume) on the sedimentation characteristics. the particles remain in a fixed position relative to each other as they settle (www. The concentration is high enough to cause settling as a matrix.cornell. in which the weight of the solid is balanced by the compressive strength (McCabe. The concentration of the slurry is high enough that the particles affect each other’s rate of fall to the extent that after a short time. The gradual accumulation of the upper particles compress the solids at the bottom and decrease the height of zone D.RESULT AND ANALYSIS The mechanism of solid settling from slurry can be best observed in a glass cylinder as shown in Fig. The part of the plot that is almost horizontal represents the compression settling stage. different zones appear during sedimentation. as shown in Fig. Zone B is a region of uniform concentration which is essentially equal to the initial slurry concentration (McCabe. 3.cee. wherein hindered settling dominates. and the rates may be estimated using hindered settling computation methods. The slope of the steady interface subsidence rate represents zone settling velocity. the particles settle by free settling and at a uniform rate (Geankoplis. 1b.00 Clear Liquid Interface vs. As discussed earlier and shown in Fig. 2001) Initially. θ. followed by the results for the varying concentration.edu) As shown by Fig.00 Settling time. the depth of zone B decreases.cornell. The results for the first objective are presented first. Zone B eventually disappears.50 2.1 . cm tube 1 tube 2 tube 3 0. Fig. thus forming zone D shown in Fig. Settling Time (Varying Initial Heights) Clear liquid interface height. This particular layer is called the rate-limiting layer. 1980). The moment (or height) at which zone B and C disappear and all the solids appear in zone D is referred to as the critical settling point. As sedimentation goes on. Settling Time (same concentration. the depth of the clear zone decreases at a constant rate as sedimentation goes along. 2001). hr 1.cee. 3. The plot also shows that the slope changes after a certain depth has been reached. 1993). the slurry is uniformly concentrated and the initial height is zo.50 1.
00 Fig. θ plot is the critical settling point. Getting the critical settling point Concentartion (g/L) tube 2 tube 3 tube 1 Fig. The settling velocity also experiences significant change. On the other hand. the settling velocity decreases as the concentration increases. were determined. The critical point is the point where a single distinct interface forms between the clear liquid and sediment can be obtained.50 2. The bisector is extended until it touches the curve. Fig. Settling Velocity vs. Initial Height 31 26 21 16 0 200 400 600 800 1000 Initial Height. A tangent line is drawn at this part. Fig. tube 1) had. A tangent line is also drawn at this part. another linear behavior which is almost horizontal is observed at the other end of the graph. It can be seen that the velocity decreases as the sedimentation goes along. It is expected that the rate of descent of the solid-liquid interface is a function of local concentration (Foust.00 50.00 Fig. Exact values of cL are given in the appendix. Settling Time 200 180 160 140 Additional information that can be determined from the z vs. 6. θ. respectively. in general. the fastest settling rates compared to rates of the other samples. The slopes of the tangent lines at each point. different initial heights) Fig. Settling velocity vs. The point of intersection is the critical point. the solids have a concentration co and free settling is observed. (Foust. cm 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 0 20 40 60 Settling time. Settling Velocity vs.00 0. which is equal to the settling velocity at the point. mins As the sedimentation process goes along. 8. For the second part of the experiment. Settling Velocity vs.00 200. different concentration) Time. At the start of sedimentation. 4. mm tube 1 tube 2 tube 3 Settling velocity. The angle between these two lines is measured and an angle bisector is used. 5 also shows how the initial height (or volume) of the mixture affects the settling velocity of the mixture. hrs 80 100 120 200 180 Settling Velocity (cm/hr) 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 0. Concentration the nearer presence of the other particles slow each other’s settling velocity. using the equation (4) where co and zo are the initial concentration and height.00 250. as is theoretically expected. hr 1. These lines are extended until they intersect. As this happens. The main reason for this phenomenon is that the time to reach the critical point would be influenced by the amount of sediment that has to settle as it reaches the critical point. Generally. The velocity in the compression settling zone is significantly less than that in the earlier region. A tangent line is made at the critical point. 7. Three samples of kaolin-water slurry were made with different concentration. the height zi that the slurry would occupy at concentration cL is determined. the concentration of the solids region increasingly becomes more concentrated because the solids are getting more compacted. 4 shows the method used in this experiment to determine the settling velocities at different points. 5. The zi data can be used to determine the minimum concentration cL at which boundary layer interferes. this is the only effect of varying the height of the slurry can have. vt.Fig. Time needed to reach critical point vs.00 100. It should be noted that there are regions wherein the velocity is approximately constant. The sample with the highest initial height (namely. Time 900 Clear liquid interace height. This is because the hindered settling region is increasingly becoming more concentrated as time goes on and . θ. 1980) Time to Critical Point vs. (3) The exact values of the settling velocities of each trial are shown in the appendix. z. In equation. 6 shows the trend of settling velocity as sedimentation goes along. 1980). Initial height doesn’t necessarily affect the sedimentation rate. Tube 1: Height vs.00 150. 8. Notice that the velocity decreases at almost a constant rate when the concentration is relatively low. as illustrated in Fig. 5. From the y-intercept of the tangent lines in Fig. the objective was to determine the effect of initial concentration on sedimentation characteristics. as shown in Fig. Concentration (same height.00 Settling Time. Initial height From Fig. it is observed that the sample with the highest volume (or height) takes longer to reach its critical point. Settling Time (same concentration. Extending this line gives the value of the concentration and time at the critical point. cm/hr 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 0. 7.50 1.
1039-1040 0.50% 2. Concentration (same concentration.net/kaolin/index. 2008 Fig. 9. evident differences in their plots are present. Reynolds number NRe. Concentration 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 settling velocity (cm/hr) http://www. 825 McCabe. (1980). Retrieved February 29. as the particles reach the compression settling zone.00 concentration (g/L) 5. Settling Velocity vs. Retrieved February 29. 11 was computed using the method illustrated in Fig. the more concentrated sample had faster settling velocity. vt.50% 7. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd. different concentrations) In accordance with theory. REFERENCES Foust. different height) Settling Velocity vs Settling Time (Varying Initial Concentrations) 200 Settling Velocity.50% Fig. 9. 629-636 Geankoplis. z.00 100. A. Principles of Unit Operations.00% 2. This is probably because the weight of the solids that compress the particle matrix is the determining factor in the compression . 11. pp.php. During the compression settling zone. C. Greater number of solids block the water below from rising up.50% 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 Settling time.00 300. (1993). 168.cee. pp. However. it can be concluded that the initial concentration and height (or volume) of the slurry affects its sedimentation characteristics.50% CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Based on all the data and graphs gathered from this experiment. that is. It can also be concluded that increasing the initial mixture concentration decreases the settling velocity of the particles before the compression settling zone. thus the solids take longer to settle down. Settling Time (same initial height. W. 11 that the zone settling velocity depends more on the initial concentration than on the initial height.00% 2. pp. 816-817.00 200. 820.doc. 11. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Book Co. the trend is reversed. The settling velocity used in Fig. Settling Time (Varying Initial Concentrations) 100 90 settling zone. 2008 http://ceeserver. as shown in Fig. In particular. 10.50% 100 50 0 Settling Time Fig.S. Settling velocity vs.cornell. increasing the initial height of the slurry would also increase the settling time needed to reach the final height and somewhat increase the settling velocity. different concentrations) As observed from the Fig. The velocity of the particles are may be affected by the wall of the cylindrical vessel used. It should be noted from Fig. Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering.50% 5. (2001). Singapore: Prentice Hall.edu/jjb2/cee656/Sediment-lect.mineralco. the more concentrated sample had lower settling velocity. Transport Processes and Unit Operations. cm/hr 150 7. 4. and that the drag force FD. Clear Liquid Interface Height vs. Settling Time (same initial height. It was also observed that the sedimentation process obeyed Stokes Law.Height vs.L. 164.J. and terminal settling velocity vt behaved in a similar manner. the higher concentrations would result to higher settling velocities. cm 7. θ. hours 50 60 70 5. Settling Velocity vs. 6 and Fig. Clear liquid interface height. A linear behavior is observed at the start of sedimentation although the sample with the highest initial concentration flattened out the quickest.
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