Increasing the capacity of a phosphate grinding circuit with the aid of computer simulation

Herbst, J. A. ; Bohrer, J. E. ; Lo, Y. C.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
A systematic approach has been developed to analyze a phosphate grinding circuit with a view toward determining promising alternatives for increasing mill capacity. This analysis was carried out and capacity increases were predicted in the context of detailed population balance models developed for the plant ball mills and classifier systems. Model development and verification was performed using data obtained in a series of batch tests and two plant test campaigns. The effects of feed rate, percent solids, ball size, and mill material filling, etc., on grinding were investigated in the laboratory and plant. Residence time distribution tests were also performed to determine the transport behavior in the mill. The population balance models were found to provide accurate predictions of full-scale grinding circuit performance. Based on the findings of this study, additional capacity in excess of 25% was predicted for these ball milling circuits by a proper combination of ball size change, mill dilution, and adopting screen classification in place of hydro-cyclones. These predictions have been confirmed by plant tests in which the recommended operating changes have been implemented. Understanding the effects of operating variables on breakage kinetics and the interplay between kinetics, transport, and classification has contributed significantly to increasing the mill capacity.
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