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In Stream Analyser....Theory

In Stream Analyser....Theory

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These notes were used to train plant operators at the Frontier Mine in DR Congo on the theory behind the operation of the in-stream/on-stream analyser. In the end, the machine installed at Frontier turned out to be one of the best in the mining industry. The accuracy of the machine increased continually, in time, as more results were added to the regression calibration program.

These notes were used to train plant operators at the Frontier Mine in DR Congo on the theory behind the operation of the in-stream/on-stream analyser. In the end, the machine installed at Frontier turned out to be one of the best in the mining industry. The accuracy of the machine increased continually, in time, as more results were added to the regression calibration program.

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Published by: Ramoutar (Ken) Seecharran on Feb 10, 2013
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09/17/2013

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FRONTIER Sprl

CONCENTRATOR DEPARTMENT IN-STREAM ANALYSER THEORY OF X-RAY FLUORESCENCE (XRF) When a primary x-ray excitation source from an x-ray tube or a radioactive source strikes a sample, the x-ray can either be absorbed by the atom or scattered through the material. The process in which an x-ray is absorbed by the atom by transferring all of its energy to an innermost electron is called the “photoelectric effect.” During this process, if the primary x-ray had sufficient energy, electrons are ejected from the inner shells, creating vacancies. These vacancies present an unstable condition for the atom. As the atom returns to its stable condition, electrons from the outer shells are transferred to the inner shells and in the process giving off a characteristic x-ray whose energy is the difference between the two binding energies of the corresponding shells. The emitted x-rays produced from this process are called “X-ray Fluorescence,” or XRF. The process of detecting and analyzing the emitted x-rays is called “X-ray Fluorescence Analysis.” In most cases the innermost K and L shells are involved in XRF detection. The XRF method is widely used to measure the elemental composition of materials. Since this method is fast and non-destructive to the sample, it is the method of choice for field applications and industrial production for control of materials and processes. Depending on the application, XRF can be produced by using not only x-rays but also other primary excitation sources like alpha particles, protons or high energy electron beams. Primary x-ray/Radiation e Fluorescence x-ray

K L M

Electron Figure 1.0: Production of an x-ray (schematic)

1

This system allows either plant operators or process control systems to fine-tune and optimise the process much quicker after variations in feed rate. ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF ON-LINE ANALYSIS In-stream analysis provides continuous on-line elemental and density analysis of flotation plant slurries.0. elemental sulphur and CaSO4 give the same sulphur X-ray. head grade. . Increased process visibility . Less variations in plant operating conditions 2 . The fluorescence x-rays emitted are collected in a collimator and sent to a central processing unit as counts. Adjustments can be made on a minute-by-minute basis to continuously maximise the recovery while maintaining the concentrate grades within the required specifications. Thus. fineness of grind. mineralogy and plant start ups. the counts are calibrated against wet chemical analysis to give percent copper. pulp density. This is achieved by the installation of the analysis equipments in each stream which integrates on-line analysis and metallurgical shift composite samples. An electron from another shell falls into the vacancy and produces an Xray in the transition. The electrons producing the x-rays are not valence (outer) shell electrons. cobalt and iron. Xrays are created in the inner shells of the atom (K. First. Decrease in reagent consumption . Prior to commissioning. Therefore. Faster plant stabilization after shutdown . The in-stream analyser uses a radiation source to irradiate the slurry. There are three main points to understand the basics of XFR analysis. L and M). This is shown in the Figure 1. Increases in Copper recovery . The most commonly measured X-rays are from K and L shells.An x-ray is produced when an inner shell electron is knocked out by the primary X-ray. Quick detection of process upsets . IN-STREAM ANALYSER An in-stream analysis system provides a continuous (minute by minute) measurement of the desired elements in the feed as well as % solids and particle size of the product. With such a system optimisation of the fineness of grind as well as the flotation circuit will be achieved instantly thus improving metal recoveries and concentrates grade. the X-ray energy is not affected by the chemical or physical form of the atom.

7 % inc in recovery 3. A better particle size product will be achieved which will enhance efficient CASE STUDIES MINE KCM Hindustan Zinc LOCATION Zambia India METAL Cu Fe Pb Zn BENEFITS 1% increase in Cu Reagent savings 1.4% inc in Zn plus 20% Reagent savings 1% inc in recovery 3% inc in both Pb and Zn 0. More consistent final product quality to meet down stream processing plant specifications operations.2% inc in recovery. .7% inc in Pb.. 1.9% inc in recovery N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Mount Lyell North Broken Hill Electrolytic Zn Co Renison Mines Wheal Jane Mopani Cu Mines Anglo American Anglo Gold Phelps Dodge Codelco Australia Australia Australia Australia UK Zambia RSA RSA USA Chile Cu Pb Zn Zn Sn Sn Cu Co Fe Zr Ti Fe Au Cu Fe Mn Cu Fe As 3 . 6.

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