Some Experiences with using Population Balance Models to Analyze Industrial Grinding Circuits

Klimpel, Richard R.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 14
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1992
The purpose of this paper is to summarize some of the author's experiences in applying population balance models to a variety of industrial grinding circuits. Over 26 separate industrial circuits have been studied in detail during the last 10 years, each unique in its equipment type and layout as well as in the material (s) being ground. The success of the population balance approach during these studies was variable. Fourteen of the circuits were shown to be very amenable to such an approach while the remainder had conditions present that sufficiently violated the standard population balance assumptions so that the analysis was of less than optimal utility. Some discussion of the importance of standard population balance assumptions will be given. It is increasingly becoming this author's opinion that the use of population balance models has its greatest utility in defining logically and cheaply (in contrast to actual physical testing), the relative limits and comparisons of different proposed circuit configurations and changes in equipment types and/or operating conditions. As far as specific quantitative predictions and actual optimization of existing plant performance, the results of applying the population balance approach have been often disappointing and need to be coupled at the plant level with other engineering quantification techniques in order to achieve desired improvements.
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