New techniques for measuring turbulence in flotation cells

Jun Meng, Weiguo Xie, Matthew Brennan, Erico Tabosa, Kym Runge, Dee Bradshaw

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Turbulence and its distribution are of great importance in flotation cell design as they affect suspension of particles, air dispersion and particle-bubble collision rates, which in turn determine flotation performance. However, there is no mature technique to measure turbulence in three phase (liquid-solid-gas) systems such as in flotation cells. In this article, the authors present two new approaches that are suitable for measuring turbulence distribution in three phase systems and validate their applicability. The first technique uses a piezoelectric vibration sensor (PVS) to measure fluid kinetic energy standard deviation and the second technique applies electrical resistance tomography (ERT) to measure conductivity variation at a measurement position in a flotation cell. For the PVS technique, calibration of the sensor was performed to determine the values of parameters that were needed to calculate the force applied to the sensor. Then measurement was conducted in a 60L batch flotation cell and the results were compared with LDA measurement. This demonstrated that the piezoelectric sensor signal provides a good representation of fluid kinetic energy standard deviation at the position of measurement. For the ERT technique, conductivity distribution data was processed to give conductivity variations, which were then used to calculate fluid kinetic energy standard deviation at the measurement position. The spatial distribution of turbulence obtained by performing multiple measurements at different positions in the 60 litre batch flotation cell was found to agree with the PVS measurement results. These two techniques are potentially powerful tools for turbulence measurement in flotation environments, enabling a clearer understanding of turbulence's influence on flotation performance to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event27th International Mineral Processing Congress, IMPC 2014 - Santiago, Chile
Duration: Oct 20 2014Oct 24 2014


Conference27th International Mineral Processing Congress, IMPC 2014


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