Numerical Simulations of Two-Phase Flow in a Dorr-Oliver Flotation Cell Model
Two-phase (water and air) flow in the forced-air mechanically-stirred Dorr-Oliver machine has been investigated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). A 6 m3 model is considered. The flow is modeled by the Euler-Euler approach, and transport equations are solved using software ANSYS-CFX5. Unsteady simulations are conducted in a 180-degree sector with periodic boundary conditions. Air is injected into the rotor at the rate of 2.63 m3/min, and a uniform bubble diameter is specified. The effects of bubble diameter on velocity field and air volume fraction are determined by conducting simulations for three diameters of 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mm. Air volume fraction contours, velocity profiles, and turbulent kinetic energy profiles in different parts of the machine are presented and discussed. Results have been compared to experimental data, and good agreement is obtained for the mean velocity and turbulent kinetic energy profiles in the rotor-stator gap and in the jet region outside stator blades.