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High solids concentration agitation for minerals process intensification



By using mixing intensification involving high solids concentration as a means to achieve process intensification for the mineral process industry is discussed here. Improving agitator energy efficiency is essential for operating at high solids concentrations. It is shown that improved agitator energy efficiency can be achieved by removing baffles and using higher power number impellers at high solids loadings. Power consumption (50–80%) reductions were demonstrated in the experiments. It is also suggested that slurry stratification in tanks can be used to boost either solids residence time or slurry mass flow. Basic equations related to solids residence time and solids throughput are presented for guidance toward minerals process intensification. An example on doubling throughput via intensification is presented. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2011