Modelling a hydrocyclone for fine particle separation

  • Author / Creator
  • Abstract In this study a complete solution methodology is developed for the simulation of hydrocyclones. A commercial software package, Ansys 12 Fluid Dynamics (Fluent), is used to solve the governing conservation equations. Turbulence is modelled using the large eddy simulation, and the discrete particle model is used to predict the particle separation. Two hydrocyclones of different geometries were studied, and the simulation results are compared with the experimental values. There are two key factors for obtaining a reliable result. The first is the domain discretization, and the second is the generation of a consistent initial value, including the establishment of a stable air core. Using the methodology developed, superior agreement is obtained between the predicted and experimental values of pressure, velocity distribution, air core profile and separation efficiency. The developed and validated model is used to investigate the hydrocyclone performance for separation of light and heavy particles in slurry. The effect of overflow pressure, feed flow rate, particle size, vortex finder length, particle concentration and vortex finder diameter were investigated. The prediction of air core profiles demonstrated the accuracy of the simulation. In terms of design variables increasing the vortex finder length is shown to result in an increase in the recovery of light particles in the overflow. In the case of operating variables, the recovery of light particles in the overflow improved by increasing the size of light particles, feed flow rate and decreasing feed solid concentration. The ratio of the vortex finder diameter to the apex diameter was found to be the most important design factor on the hydrocyclone performance.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.