Multi-phase CFD modelling of slurry column flotation – validation of both hydrodynamic and kinetic parameters
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Research & Development, Scientific Division, Tata Steel Ltd Jamshedpur -831001, India
Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad, Kandi, Sangareddy-502284
Narasimha Mangadoddy   

Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad, Kandi, Sangareddy-502284
Publication date: 2022-11-13
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2022;58(5):156486
Column flotation is widely used for the beneficiation of fines in the mineral processing industry. The kinetics in the column flotation is mainly influenced by the hydrodynamics and the flotation sub-processes such as bubble particle collision, attachment, and detachment. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a popular tool that can be used to evaluate flotation kinetics. However, most of the published works on the flotation kinetics with CFD were limited to mechanical flotation cells. In the current investigation, a CFD model is applied to explore both the hydrodynamics and kinetics of the column flotation. CFD simulations are performed for two-phase systems of column flotation on the Eulerian-Eulerian framework. The standard k-ε turbulence model is utilized in this methodology along with the drag, lift, and virtual mass forces. The hydrodynamic parameters such as axial, and radial gas holdup and its distribution were predicted from the CFD simulations and validated with Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT) experimental results. In the kinetic study, the flotation kinetic sub-processes, such as bubble-particle collision, adhesion, and detachment were also predicted. The error between the ERT experimental and CFD simulations was found to be 2.71 and 6.75%, respectively at 0.006 and 0.018 m/s superficial air velocities. The effect of particle contact angle and particle size on the kinetic constants of attachment (