Enhancing bubble bize prediction in flotation processes: a drift flux model accounting for frother type
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Universidad Católica del Norte
University of Oulu
Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María
Publication date: 2024-01-03
Corresponding author
Claudio Leiva   

Universidad Católica del Norte
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2023;59(5):178234
This communication presents a methodology, based on a modified drift flux model, to determine bubble size distribution in column flotation. The modified drift flux model incorporates a surfactant-type parameter. This parameter considers the impact of surfactant on bubble hydrodynamics. The methodology aims to improve the accuracy of bubble size distribution prediction, which presents deviation depending on surfactant type (i.e. polyglycolic based or alcoholic base). Many authors have proposed different mathematical improvements to reduce de experimental data deviations in the presence of different surfactants. However, from 1988 to 2022, the determination coefficient, or the quality of the adjustments, from the proposed mathematical models is, at the most, 92% (relative error). The proposed methodology improves the quality of the adjustments to 98.6, adding a single parameter for groups of surfactants. This methodology incorporates a single parameter in the terminal velocity calculation that can compensate for the impact of surfactant type in bubble hydrodynamic (bubble skin friction or drag coefficient, bubble wake, bubble shape, bubble rigidity). This parameter is a function of the gas holdup calculated from gas velocity measured and the bubble size distribution calculated (deviated) from gas holdup and gas velocity measured. The methodology is validated with reported experimental results and proposed modifications from various authors. The confidence interval (2 σ) is reduced from 0.11mm to 0.05mm in the case of (Yianatos, Banisi, Ostadrahimi). In the case of the recently reported experimental results from Maldonado and Gomez, the confidence interval is reduced from 0.31 mm to 0.09 mm. These results improve bubble size estimation based on drift flux in column flotation, contributing to a better understanding of surfactant impact on bubble swarm hydrodynamics.
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