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|A bubble population balance model is proposed for the prediction of Sauter mean bubble diameters in mechanical flotation cells. In the model, the flotation cell is treated as two separate, statistically homogeneous zones?the impeller zone, and the bulk tank zone. Balance functions for the rates of bubble breakage, coalescence, recirculation and inlet-outlet events are proposed based on classical chemical engineering research in two- and three-phase fluid mixing systems. An initial simulation of the population balance model shows trends in bubble size distributions comparable to measured distributions in industrial mechanical flotation cells.|