Numerical studies of the effects of medium properties in dense medium cyclone operations

Bo Wang, Kaiwei Chu, Aibing Yu, Andrew Vince

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31 Citations (Scopus)


A mathematical approach is proposed to describe the multiphase flow in a 1000 mm industrial dense medium cyclone. A mixture multiphase model is employed to describe the flow of the dense medium (comprising finely ground magnetite contaminated with non-magnetic material in water) and the air core, where the turbulence is described by the well established Reynolds stress model. The stochastic Lagrangian particle tracking method is used to simulate the flow of coal particles. The proposed approach was qualitatively validated using literature and industrial data and then used to study the effects of medium properties including medium density, magnetite type and non-magnetic content. It is found that as the medium density increases, the pressure drop increases, resulting in a high pressure gradient force on coal particles and reduced separating efficiencies. The segregation of magnetite particles becomes serious as magnetite particle size increases, which leads to a high density differential and a high off-set. The viscosity of medium decreases and the segregation of magnetite particles become significant with the decrease of non-magnetic content, resulting in a high density differential and off-set.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931 - 943
Number of pages13
JournalMinerals Engineering
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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