Toward the optimization of flotation column operation

CIM Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2011
A. Desbiens and R. del Villar, M. Maldonado, J. Bouchard
Abstract Despite many years of practical applications in mineral processing plants, the potential of column flotation has still not been fully exploited. The challenge in measuring some key variables is certainly an important contributing factor to this situation. Reliable online measurement of variables, such as the froth depth, bias, gas hold-up, frother concentration, bubble surface area flux, and bubble size distribution, provides opportunities for the application of various advanced control strategies and real-time optimization based on an economic criterion. For several years, Université Laval’s Laboratoire d’observation et d’optimisation des procédés researchers have been working on these opportunities. This paper describes the most recent advances and current research trends.
Keywords: Column flotation, Froth depth, Bias, Gas hold-up, Frother concentration, Bubble surface area flux, Advanced control, Real-time optimization
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