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A constitutive relationship for electrokinetic dewatering of phosphatic clay slurries

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2011, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 49-54

McKinney, J.P.; Orazem, M.E.


Benchtop experiments were performed, in which an electric field was used to enhance separation of water from phosphatic clay suspensions from a central Florida mine. A constitutive relationship was established that relates the increase in solids content to operating time and the applied electric field. An upper limit to the degree of separation was found to be a function of electric field, and the time required to achieve this limiting value was also a function of electric field. The energy requirement for removal of water ranged from 1.25 to 175 Wh/kg water removed as a function of the electric field. A mathematical model was developed that provided good agreement to the experimental values and served to validate the constitutive relationship.