Unit Operations in
Mineral Processing
Prof. Rodrigo Serna
Aalto University
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03/03/2016
Dewatering
Sedimentation
Filtration
Sedimentation
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03/03/2016
Sedimentation
Sedimentation
A=
( X U ) W
RS
• Question: How do we determine the settling velocity?
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03/03/2016
Sedimentation
• Batch settling curve
• Zone A: Clear liquid
• Zone B: Initial solids
concentration
• Zone C: Variable concentration
zone
• Zone D: Settled bed
Sedimentation
progresses H0
Slope = sedimentation rate
H
• A sound approach is to use
sedimentation rate at the critical
sedimentation point Critical sedimentation point
• and H  Hu Time
R=
tu
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03/03/2016
Sedimentation
• Sizing of settling tanks
• Using this approach, we can calculate the thickener area with:
ææ H ö æ H öö
W çç ÷  ç u ÷÷
èè C0 H 0 ø è C0 H 0 øø t
A= =W u
( H  H u ) tu C0 H 0
• We can see that the required area will be larger for slower settling
rates (i.e., longer tu)
• This becomes problematic, particularly in the case of very fine
particles
 As can be deduced from Stoke’s law:
2 ( rs  rl ) 2
S= gd p
9 m
Sedimentation
• In case of sedimentation of fine particles, there are two
options:
• Supply additional force to increase settling velocity (e.g.,
centrifugal)
• Aggregate particles into large agglomerates, a process called
flocculation
© Metcon
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03/03/2016
Sedimentation
• Flocculation
• Solid particles in water will have a similar (negative) charge
• They will not aggregate spontaneously
• To form agglomerates, we use:
 Flocculant molecules, typically, soluble long chain polymers like polyacrylamide
(PAM)
 Coagulants, low molecular weight cationic polymers, e.g., polyamines
   +  
    +  +
 
  
  
     + 
 + +
  +

  
         
  +
  Coagulation mechanism: Flocculation mechanism:
Naturally repelling solids Charge neutralization Bridging
Filtration
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03/03/2016
Filtration
• Filter Medium
• Its main purpose is to support the formation of cake
• Once formed, the filter cake is itself the true separation medium
• Should retain solids without binding
• Mechanically strong
• Corrosion resistant
• Some examples are linen, silk, nylon, metals, glass fiber, polyester
• Cotton fabrics are among the most favored filter medium due to cost
and variety
Filtration
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03/03/2016
Filtration
Filtration
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03/03/2016
Filtration
Filtration
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03/03/2016
Filtration
Filtration
DP
= a mc + R
mv Slurry
DP = pressure drop across cake and medium [N/m2]
m = liquid viscosity [N s/m2]
v = filtrate flow rate [m/s] Cake
a = specific cake resistance DP
mc = mass of dry filter cake Medium
R = specific medium resistance
Filtrate (v)
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03/03/2016
Filtration
DP/mv
1
Filtration
• Another way to see this is that the rate at which filtrate is
produced is a function of this driving force (DP):
v = filtrate flow rate [m/s]
A = area of filter [m2]
1 dV DP V = accumulated filtrate volume [m3]
v= = t = time [s]
A dt æ V ö DP = pressure drop across cake and medium [N/m2]
m ça w + R ÷ m = liquid viscosity [N s/m2]
è A ø a = specific cake resistance
w = feed slurry concentration, dry solids per unit of filtrate volume [kg/m3]
R = specific medium resistance
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03/03/2016
Filtration
Filtration
• The pressure drop equation can
also be used in a linearized form
to obtain experimental values for
resistance
dt ma w
= 2 (V +Ve )
dV A DP
• Running filtration experiments
at constant pressure drop (DP),
we can calculate values of a
• With data obtained at various
DP, we can obtain a parameter
called compressibility value (n),
which correlates cake resistance
to operating pressure:
a = a 0 ( DP )
n
Data for filtration of calcite; the reported values of
cake resistance and compressibility factor are
a0 = 5,53 E09 and n = 0,18
(Mahdi and Holdich, Chem. Eng. Res. Design, 91 (2013) 1145)
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03/03/2016
Filtration
• Due to cake buildup, filtration
is performed at either:
• Constant pressure
dt ma w
= (V +Ve )
dV A 2 DP
Final exam
• Friday 08.04.2016
09:00 – 13:00
• Lecture hall V1
• Registration before
1.4. 2016 at 23.59
(WebOodi)
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