Flotation with sedimentation: Steady states and numerical simulation of transient operation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A spatially one-dimensional model of the hydrodynamics of a flotation column is based on one continuous phase, the fluid, and two disperse phases: the aggregates, that is, bubbles with attached hydrophobic valuable particles, and the solid particles that form the gangue. A common feed inlet for slurry mixture and gas is considered and the bubbles are assumed to be fully aggregated with hydrophobic particles as they enter the column. The conservation law of the three phases yields a model expressed as a system of partial differential equations where the nonlinear constitutive flux functions come from the drift-flux and solids-flux theories. In addition, the total flux functions are discontinuous in the spatial (height) coordinate because of two inlets (slurry and wash water) and outlets at the top and bottom. The desired stationary solutions of this model can be characterized by operating charts. A novel numerical method is used for simulations of the hydrodynamics under variable operating conditions such as control actions that drive the process to desired states of operation.


  • Raimund Bürger
  • Stefan Diehl
  • María del Carmen Martí
  • Yolanda Vásquez
External organisations
  • University of Concepción
  • University of Valencia
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Mechanical Engineering


  • Flotation column, Froth flotation, Mathematical model, Numerical simulation, Operating charts, Steady states, Three-phase model
Original languageEnglish
Article number106419
JournalMinerals Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch