Scale-up of Using Novel Dewatering Aids
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Based on the laboratory- and pilot-scale tests conducted, a scale-up model for the process of using the novel dewatering aids has been developed. It can predict the final cake moistures as a function of vacuum pressure, filtration time and specific cake weight. The model can be useful for the scale-up of vacuum disc filters (VDF) and horizontal belt filters (HBF). Simulation results indicate that dewatering aids can be very effective, especially when used in conjunction with HBF due to its ability to control cake thickness and drying cycle time independently.
In light of the promising laboratory- and pilot-scale test results, an industrial demonstration of the novel dewatering aids has been conducted at the Smith Branch impoundment site, which contains 2.9 million tons of recoverable coal. When the reagent was used for dewatering flotation products using a VDF, the moisture content was reduced from 26 to 20% at 0.5 lb/ton of reagent addition and to 17.5% at 1 lb/ton. The use of the dewatering aid also improved the kinetics of dewatering, increased the throughput, and reduced the power consumption of vacuum pumps by 30%.
The novel dewatering aids were also tested successfully for dewatering of kaolin clays. In this case, the mineral was treated with a cationic surfactant before adding the dewatering aids. This two-step hydrophobization process was able to reduce the cake moisture and also increase the throughput.
- Doctoral Dissertations