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Simulation and pilot experiments on pyrite concentrate separation in a Floatex density separator

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2011, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 62-70

Remes, A.; Tuikka, A.; Koivo, H.


Operation of a pilot-scale Floatex density separator was studied using a pyrite concentrate slurry feed. Experimental measurements were further utilized in parameterization of a hindered settling simulation model. The model incorporates particle slip velocity calculation and also a separation efficiency function, adjusted to describe the feed material characteristics. The model was used to compute the overflow and underflow compositions when both fluidization bed pressure and teeter water flow rates were varied. In addition, prediction accuracy and the model validity were evaluated. The simulations gave good results when the teeter interstitial velocities were moderate enough to avoid excessive turbulence in the fluidization. Prediction of the cumulative overflow and underflow size distributions in most experiments yielded essentially less than 10% relative error between the sample data and the estimated value of the 50% passing sizes.