270649 Optimize Solids-Liquid Separation with Inline Particle Size Measurement
Water recycle and tailing settling rates are optimized through solids flocculation. Yet as the incoming feed concentration and particle size distribution varies, so does the solids separation efficiency. Tracking changes to the real time particle size distribution and fine particle population enables fast and efficient water recycle. Offline measurement techniques require samples to be extracted and manipulated through dilution or dispersion which alter or destroy flocculated components, and offline measurements cannot be applied to make real-time process control decisions. In situ particle measurement technology, such as FBRM® and PVM®, measure changes to particle size, inline without the need for sampling. This technology is applied across the petroleum and mining industries to optimize tailings dewatering.
In this paper, flocculation performance, dosage costs, and solid-liquid separations were optimized using FBRM® and PVM® technology. These rugged probe based tools were critical to improve water recovery laboratory and on large scale gravity thickener tanks and pipe reactors. The ability to track changes on both the fine and coarse ends of the particle distribution enabled separation performance optimization based on flocculent type, slurry feed distribution, and shear rate.