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Computational Assessments on Bubble Dynamics Applied to Flotation Cells Open Access


Other title
Flotation cell, modelling
bubble dynamics, VOF
multiphase flow
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Mammadov, Asif
Supervisor and department
Petr Nikrityuk (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Zhenghe Xu (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Vinay Prasad (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Natalia Semagina (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-06:Spring 2017
Master of Science
Degree level
Au, Ag, Hg, many other metals, diamond, coal, oil and tar sands are extracted by flotation process. We can define flotation as a single, most significant unit operation in mineral processing, used in extraction of all kinds of minerals. A study of air bubble dynamics and gas-liquid multiphase flow is important for the design, development and understanding of industrial processes such as bubble column reactors, flotation cells and boilers. Hence bubble generation and attachment is an important part of flotation process. In order to understand bubble dynamics, we built models of single bubble systems. The growth and detachment of air bubble from single orifice in water tank was studied. An axisymmetric model based on the Volume of Fluid method, available in ANSYS-Fluent software was used for simulation of air bubble rising in water. Numerous numerical simulations were carried out using an axisymmetric domain with different orifice diameters (0.8, 0.4 mm), air inlet velocities (50, 150 mlph) and phase surface tensions (50, 72 mN/m). Bubble growth and rise velocity were studied and validated against experimental data published in literature. Relative good agreement was achieved. Velocity profiles of the rising bubbles as well as Reynolds, Weber and Capillary numbers were calculated. Effect of surface tension and nozzle diameter to bubble size and dynamics were discussed. It was shown that smaller surface tension of the system yields to smaller bubble size which is more favorable for flotation process.
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