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Computational domains of Flotation Equipment are large

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Computational domains of Flotation Equipment are large, and flow physics are complex involving multi-phase flow turbulence. Even two-phase flow simulations of flotation machines are time consuming and require large computational resources. Some approaches have been used to reduce computational costs for two-phase flow; see, for example, the approach by Tiitinen et al., where sector based simulations were used to reduce the number of grid nodes. Bubble size is one of the most important parameters that affect the air holdup of the pulp phase. A spectrum of bubble sizes exists in flotation machines depending on air flow rate and turbulence parameters.

To predict such bubble size distribution, another set of equations that describes a population balance can be solved in the course of CFD simulation. This approach increases the computational demands where transport equation for each size group has to be implemented. A more feasible approach is to conduct a parametric study for different uniform bubble sizes to study their effects on air holdup and rate constant.

Phosphate is a typical oxide ore characterizing that generating abundant froth during flotation. In this research a new Flotation Machine was employed in the flotation of phosphate. Comparing to regular flotation machine, in the reverse flotation of dolomite the recovery and grade of MgO has no significance improvement. While, in the case of reverse flotation of silicon dioxide, the new flotation machine has significance advantage. In 5 minutes of flotation time, the yield of froth is 20.66% with new machine, which equals to yield using regular machine under 8 minutes. The flotation time has been shorten by new machine. In addition, the recovery of silicon dioxide improved by 6% and the grade of silicon dioxide in phosphate concentrate decreased by 1.3% comparing the regular flotation machine. The results demonstrate that new flotation machine is more suitable and efficient for phosphate flotation

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