Development of a Flotation Rate Equation from First Principles under Turbulent Flow Conditions

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Virginia Tech

A flotation model has been proposed that is applicable in a turbulent environment. It is the first turbulent model that takes into account hydrodynamics of the flotation cell as well as all relevant surface forces (van der Waals, electrostatic, and hydrophobic) by use of the Extended DLVO theory. The model includes probabilities for attachment, detachment, and froth recovery as well as a collision frequency. A review of the effects fluids have on the flotation process has also been given. This includes collision frequencies, attachment and detachment energies, and how the energies of the turbulent system relate to them. Flotation experiments have been conducted to verify this model. Model predictions were comparable to experimental results with similar trends. Simulations were also run that show trends and values seen in industrial flotation systems. These simulations show the many uses of the model and how it can benefit the industries that use flotation.

rate constant, collision frequency, extended DLVO, Turbulence, flotation model, attachment energy, detachment energy