A New Technique for Charactrizing Flocculated Suspensions

Warren L J,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1989
In the mineral processing industry solid-liquid separation within a thickener usually requires the addition of a synthetic flocculant to enhance the settling rate of fine particles. The characteristics of the resulting flocculated suspensions may vary considerably depending upon the physical and chemical conditions which prevail during the flocculation process. For example, parameters such as flocculant type, dosage and solution concentration, surface chemical characteristics of particles and the suspension agitation conditions can influence the degree to which the particles aggregate. Aggregated suspensions exhibit various structures, and range from those composed of small, dense aggregates to those containing large, voluminous aggregates. The size distribution and structural type of the aggregates which form within the feed-well of a thickener can have a dramatic effect upon overall thickener performance. Thickener performance cannot be optimized without optimization of the aggregate structure produced in the feed by synthetic flocculant addition. This has required the development of new techniques to quantify the nature of aggregated suspensions, details of which are presented in this paper.
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