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# Mineral processing circuits- Detection of the appropriate sampling scheme

Kalaitzi Fani Dr. Mining Engineer-Metallurgist, Hellas Tsakalakis Konstantinos Associate Professor, National Technical University of Athens, Hellas kostsakg@metal.ntua.gr

XII BMPC 2007, 10-14 June, 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi-

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INTRODUCTION In order to assess the operation and the performance of mineral processing plants. the establishment of the most suitable sampling scheme is inevitable For this reason it is proposed a suitable algorithm for the elaboration of the most suitable sampling procedure The sampling schemes usually developed refer either to steady-state or to dynamic conditions of a plant. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi2 . XII BMPC 2007. 10-14 June.

XII BMPC 2007. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi3 . the steady – state sampling scheme is often an essential step towards building either steady – state or dynamic models of unit operations depicting adequately the mineral processing procedures. in order to achieve higher plant recoveries and more effective product (concentrate) control Furthermore.INTRODUCTION (continued) The development of a suitable mass-balance flowsheet at steady – state conditions has been proved to be a powerful tool. 10-14 June.

The main objective of the flowsheet samplingscheme is the configuration of linearly independent equations ensuring a unique solution of the system of equations The circuit topology is a critical issue in this procedure. since there are some essential constraints in the detection of the appropriate streams to be sampled. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi4 . 10-14 June.ANALYSIS OF THE PROBLEM A mass-balance system consists of equations derived from the chemical or other type analysis of the samples collected along the plant streams. XII BMPC 2007. which must always be taken into account.

The elaboration of the final sampling. there is not any feasible and at the same time unique sampling-scheme for each circuit. but usually many alternatives could be applied.ANALYSIS OF THE PROBLEM It can be easily proved that.scheme depends on many factors In order to overcome this difficulty. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi5 . 10-14 June. an algorithm is proposed here for the detection of the most efficient sampling schemes. XII BMPC 2007.

either it consists of simple nodes or not.g. e. presents the following features: It detects all the possible sampling schemes of a mineral processing flowsheet. and It can be used as a background for the development of a computer program for the elaboration of sampling schemes in mineral processing circuits. all the possible sets of flowstreams to be sampled ensuring a mass balance Each of the configured system of equations gives a unique solution It can be applied to every circuit. developed in this work. XII BMPC 2007. 10-14 June.PRESENT WORK The algorithm. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi6 .

as shown below A simple node has either two inputs and one output or the opposite 1 2 Inputs 2 1 1 Input Simple node 2 2 Outputs Simple node 1 1 Output 2 XII BMPC 2007. where the process flowstreams either join or separate.SAMPLING-SCHEME BACKGROUND Any plant flowsheet can be reduced to a series of nodes. 10-14 June. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi- 7 .

10-14 June. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi8 .SAMPLING-SCHEME BACKGROUND Nn denotes the total number of the internal nodes Nr designates the number of known flowrates (input streams or reference streams) Ns is the total number of the streams observed in a flowsheet Ner is the number of the additional equations required to configure a system of mass balance equations given by: Ner = Ns − ( Nn + Nr ) XII BMPC 2007.

10-14 June. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi9 . Ner number of nodes must be suitably selected in the flowsheet to configure the additional partial mass balance equations required (Ner must always be Ner ≤ Nn) If Nssmin is the minimum number of streams to be sampled for the mass balance configuration. it has been previously proved that: Nss min = 1 + 2( Ner − 1) Nss min = 2( Ns − Nn − Nr ) + 1 XII BMPC 2007.SAMPLING-SCHEME BACKGROUND Thus.

considering the overall mineral processing circuit as an independent node and Ner is the additional mass balance equations which must be configured XII BMPC 2007.SAMPLING-SCHEME BACKGROUND All the possible combinations of the (Nn+1) nodes taken Ner at a time are given by: ( Nn + 1)! Nn + 1 = Ner Ner!( Nn + 1 − Ner )! where (Nn+1) is the total number of nodes. 10-14 June. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi10 .

which are determined.SAMPLING-SCHEME BACKGROUND Here. then the given combination must be rejected. 10-14 June. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi11 . in which all the possible combinations. a relatively complicated procedure is applied. otherwise this combination is acceptable XII BMPC 2007. is less than Nssmin. if the number of flow streams. contained in each of the above determined combinations. are checked for giving a unique solution to system of equations For example.

10Delphi-Hellas Delphi12 . if the rank of the matrix is equal or greater than Ns.since it doesn’t ensure a unique solution Otherwise. then this combination is considered to be acceptable. 10-14 June. then the corresponding combination is rejected. the system of equations referred to the acceptable combinations are configured in the form of a matrix Ns x Ns The rank of the matrix is also determined If the rank of the matrix is less than the total number of flowstreams (Ns).SAMPLING-SCHEME BACKGROUND Afterwards. XII BMPC 2007.

b) 13 N8 16 15 XII BMPC 2007. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi- 13 .a) 15 6 1 N1 2 N2 4 N3 7 10 N4 8 3 N5 5 9 N6 12 14 11 N7 Ns = 16 Nn = 8 (1.6 1 10 CLEANER 1 2 ROUGHER 4 SCAVENGER 7 3 8 12 5 9 14 CLEANER 2 11 CLEANER 3 16 13 CLEANER 4 (1. 10-14 June.

Nssmin = 15 The total number of the possible combinations is given by: ( Nn + 1)! Nn + 1 = = 36 Ner Ner !( Nn + 1 − Ner )! XII BMPC 2007. we have: Ns = 18. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi14 .CURRENT EXAMPLE In the above shown circuit. 10-14 June. Nn = 8 and we assume that Ner = 1 Then.

CURRENT EXAMPLE Applying the check/rejection procedure. from the total number of combinations (36) only 12 of them are considered to be acceptable These combinations ensure a unique solution to the system of the equations These combinations contain the number of Nssmin = 15 flowstreams. 10-14 June. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi15 . which have to be sampled XII BMPC 2007.

10-14 June.CONCLUSIONS In the present paper it has been shown that. for the “description” of a mineral processing circuit can’t be achieved using simply one equation Another inherent difficulty of the problem is the determination of the correct positioning of the streams to be sampled Knowing the values of the samples. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi16 . neither a mass balance of the corresponding system always exists nor the system of the equations has a unique solution XII BMPC 2007. the prediction of the minimum number of samples.

the proposed algorithm has the following features: Determines the number Nss of the streams to be sampled (Nss must always be equal or greater than Nssmin) Detects the correct positions of the streams to be sampled and contributes to the calculation of the mass balance of the system of equations resulted XII BMPC 2007.CONCLUSIONS (continued) In order to overcome the difficulties associated with this problem. 10-14 June. 17 10Delphi-Hellas DelphiConfigures all the acceptable sampling .

10-14 June. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi18 . From the whole procedure it was shown that. XII BMPC 2007. the algorithm deals successfully with the various problems in “closing” mass balance calculations and it can also be used as an alternative to procedures previously developed and to the treatment methods of sampling data.CONCLUSIONS (continued) The applicability of the proposed algorithm and its adequacy was checked for several different cases (flowsheets).

10-14 June. 10Delphi-Hellas Delphi- 19 .Thank you very much for your attention !!! XII BMPC 2007.