BSc (Eng) Witwatersrand, PhD, MBA Cape Town
Professor, Director of Postgraduate Programme
Department of Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment
Email: Dave Deglon
Though the majority of industrial mineral flotation occurs in conventional mechanical flotation cells, there are currently no kinetic models which describe the performance of these flotation cells adequately. This can be partially ascribed to the complexity in understanding and modelling the simultaneous processes of solids suspension, gas dispersion and particle-bubble contacting in these highly turbulent systems. An area of special interest lies in developing models for solids suspension, gas dispersion and mineral flotation in mechanical flotation cells. In order to achieve this objective the Centre for Minerals Research, in conjunction with the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Center (University of Queensland) in Brisbane, is currently conducting an extensive applied research project on a large number of industrial flotation plants in both South Africa and Australia as part of an Australian Mineral Industries Research Association (AMIRA) project. One of the primary objectives of this project is to develop suitable models for describing the performance of industrial mechanical flotation cells so as to ultimately simulate entire flotation circuits.This strongly applied research project is being complemented by fundamental research projects into solids suspension, gas dispersion and particle-bubble contacting. A key development in this field is a recent initiative in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) which will be used to model fundamental sub-processes occurring in mechanically agitated flotation cells. It is believed that the reconciliation of the findings from these two complementary research programmes will aid in improving flotation efficiency in mechanical flotation cells.