Residence Time Distribution Measurements and Modeling in an Industrial-Scale Siemens Flotation Cell
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMinerals. 2023, 13 (5), . 10.3390/min13050678
This short communication presents residence time distribution (RTD) measurements and modeling in a 16 m3 Siemens flotation cell, as the first RTD characterization in an industrial-scale pneumatic cell. The Siemens cell was installed as a pre-rougher machine in a Cu-Mo selective plant. This plant recovered molybdenite as an enriched product, depressing copper-bearing minerals. Irradiated non-floatable solid and Br82 in water solution were employed as solid and liquid tracers, respectively. The tracers were instantly injected into the Siemens cell, and the inlet and outlet concentrations were directly measured by external non-invasive detectors. From the flotation literature, three model structures for the RTDs were evaluated, including perfect mixing, one large perfect mixer and one small perfect mixer in series (LSTS), and N perfectly mixed reactors in series. A transport delay was incorporated for all models. The LSTS representation was more consistent with the experimental data, showing that the Siemens cell RTDs presented significant deviations with respect to perfect mixing and plug-flow regimes. From the industrial measurements, mean residence times of 4.1–5.2 min were estimated.