Journal article

Controlling Thickener Underflow Rheology Using a Temperature Responsive Flocculant

George V Franks, John-Paul O'Shea, Elizaveta Forbes

AIChE Journal | WILEY-BLACKWELL | Published : 2014


Continuous solid-liquid separations with the temperature responsive flocculant poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) were conducted in a pilot-scale thickener for the first time, using fine quartz as the feed slurry. The performance in continuous operation was compared to batch sedimentation. The increase in sediment consolidation on cooling in batch sedimentation was less significant in the continuous operation due to kinetic limitations of the deeper sediment bed and shorter residence times in the pilot-scale thickener. The reduction in underflow rheology which results when using the temperature responsive polymer as flocculant is significant. Paste-like behavior results when underflow is ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Freeport-McMoRan through the Australian Minerals Science Research Institute (AMSRI)

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Australian Research Council, AMIRA International, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Orica, Anglo Platinum, Xstrata, Areva NC, and Freeport-McMoRan through the Australian Minerals Science Research Institute (AMSRI) (LP0667828). Thanks to Kevin Smeaton and Justin Fox from the University of Melbourne, School of Engineering Workshop for design and fabrication of the pilot-scale thickener.