Investigation of the mixing characteristics of industrial flotation columns using computational fluid dynamics
Journal article, 2022

The mixing characteristics of industrial flotation columns were investigated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Particular emphasis was placed on the clarification of the relationship between the liquid and solids mixing parameters such as the mean residence time and axial dispersion coefficients. The effects of particle size and bubble size on liquid dispersion in the column were also studied. An Eulerian-Eulerian method was applied to simulate the multiphase flow, while additional scalar transport equations were introduced to predict the liquid residence time distribution (RTD) and particle age distribution inside the column. The results obtained show that particle residence time decreases with increasing particle size. The residence time of the coarser particles (112.5 ??m) was found to be at least 60% of the liquid residence time, while the finer particles (19 ??m) had a residence time similar to the liquid. The results also show that an increase in the particle size of the solids results in a decrease in the liquid vessel dispersion number, while a decrease in the bubble size increases liquid axial mixing. Finally, the simulated axial velocity profiles confirm the similarity between the liquid and solids axial dispersion coefficients in column flotation.

computational fluid dynamics

mixing characteristics

flotation column

residence time distribution


I Mwandawande

Stellenbosch University

S. M. Bradshaw

Stellenbosch University

Mohsen Karimi

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

G. Akdogan

Stellenbosch University

Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

2225-6253 (ISSN)

Vol. 122 5 245-257

Subject Categories

Food Engineering

Metallurgy and Metallic Materials

Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics



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8/3/2023 1