Investigating the effect of coarse particle addition on the measured rheological parameters of fine clay slurries

Paulsen, Eric (2007-12)

Thesis (MScIng)--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Due to economic and environmental constraints mining operations are placed under increasing pressure to effectively manage and operate tailings disposal operations. Restrictions imposed on water usage and tailings operations footprint have led to higher density and wider particle size distribution slurries conveyed to tailings areas. One means of efficiently disposing the tailings is co-disposal. In this method a concentrated fine vehicle slurry is used to convey a coarser fraction. This produces a higher density of tailings, with a number of advantages both upstream and downstream of the tailings process. Limited research has been conducted on the effect of coarse particles on the non-Newtonian rheological properties of these slurries. This lack of information complicates the design and reliable operation of these systems. This project aims at gaining a clearer understanding as to the mechanisms involved in the addition of coarse particles to a fine clay slurry vehicle; and to provide a means of estimating the measured slurry rheological properties. A number of experiments were designed to test the slurry (both Kaolin only, and Kaolin-coarse particle mixtures) rheological properties using a Couette viscometer (for the dynamic flow properties of yield stress and plastic viscosity) and a vane instrument (for the static yield stress measurements). The slurries were prepared in varying Kaolin clay solids concentrations with reverse osmosis water. Glass beads and two types of industrial sand were used as the coarse fractions. All of the coarse particles had a similar size but varied significantly in shape. Slurry pH and temperature readings were monitored throughout the tests. Tests were done initially on clay only slurries. The rheological properties of these slurries were repeatable, and no noticeable variations of properties with time were observed. The yield stress (both static and dynamic) and plastic viscosity data were well correlated with established relationships. Coarse particles were added to the clay only slurries, and then removed. The remaining clay only slurry exhibited the same rheological properties as the initial clay only slurry. The presence of coarse particles increased all the measured rheological properties (i.e. dynamic yield stress, Bingham viscosity, and static vane yield stress) in a fashion resembling the effect of adding clay to a clay only slurry. In addition, the change in measured rheological property by addition of coarse particle was independent of the clay fraction in the clay slurry. Furthermore, with both the clay only slurries and clay and coarse sand slurries, a constant linear relationship existed between the static and dynamic yield stress. Several correlations from the literature were found to provide reasonable prediction of the rheological property variations observed. These empirical and semi-empirical models however did little to explain the mechanisms involved in coarse particle addition. A new correlation has been proposed, Residual Clay Concentration, which predicts the change in rheological property based on an additional clay concentration, which in turn is a linear function of the coarse particle concentration. The accuracy of this model further strengthens the belief that the coarse particle acts in a similar fashion to a floc. By means of a case study example the importance of selecting an appropriate model for design was illustrated. The Residual Clay Concentration method provided the most conservative results. This combined with its theoretical basis strengthens the models recommendation for use in design.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: As gevolg van ekonomiese en omgewings beperkinge word mynwese nywerhede onder toenemende druk geplaas om doeltreffende afvalstroom bestuur en operasie toe te pas. Beperkinge geplaas op water gebruik en afvalstroom area-groote ly tot hoër digthede en wyer partikel-grooteverspreidings van flodders vervoer na afval areas. Een manier om van die afval doeltreffend ontslae te raak en te berg is deur medeberging. In die metode word ‘n gekonsentreerde fyn flodder gebruik as draer van ‘n growwer partikel-fraksie. Dit ly tot ‘n hoër digtheid flodder, met verskeie voordele in beide die op – en afstroom prosesse. Beperkte navorsing is gedoen op die effek van growwe partikels op die nie-Newoniese rheolgiese eienskappe van hierdie flodders. Hierdie tekort aan informasie maak die effektiewe, betroubare bedryf en operasie van die sisteme meer ingewikkeld. Hierdie projek is daarheen gemik om ‘n beter begrip te ontwikkel met betrekking tot die meganismes betrokke in die byvoeging van growwe partikels aan ‘n fyn klei-agtige flodder draer; en om ‘n manier te voorsien wat die rheologiese eienskappe kan beraam. Verskeie eksperimente was ontwerp om die flodders (beide slegs Kaolien, en Kaoliengrowwe partikel mengsels) se rheologiese eienskappe te toets deur die gebruik van ‘n Couette-viskometer. Die Couette viskometer was gebruik om die dinamiese eienskappe (van grens-spanning, en plastiese viskositet) te meet. ‘n Vaan apparaat is gebruik om die eienskap van statiese grens-spanning te meet. Die flodders was voorberei in verskeie Kaolien konsentrasies met tru-osmosis water. Glas krale en twee tipes industriële sand is gebruik as die growwe fraksies. Al die growwe partikels het soortgelyke groottes gehad, maar het grootliks verskil in vorm. Die flodder pH en temperatuur lesings is deurentyd nagegaan. Toetse was aanvanklik gedoen op die klei-alleenlike flodders. Die gemete reologiese eienskappe van die flodders was herhaalbaar, en geen opmerkbare veranderinge van die eienskappe met betrekking tot tyd is gemeet nie. Die grens-spanning (beide statiese en dinamiese) en plastiese viskositeit is goed gekorrelleer met gevestigde verhoudinge. Growwe partikels is aan die klei-alleenlike flodders bygevoeg, en daarnae verwyder. Die oorblywende klei-alleenlike flodder het dieselfde gemete rheologiese eienskappe getoon as die oorspronklike klei-allenlike flodder. Die teenwoordigheid van growwe partikels het na ‘n toename van al die gamete rheologiese eienskappe gelei wat fisies baie soortgelyk is aan die byvoeging van klei tot ‘n klei-alleenlike flodder. Verder, met beide die klei-alleenlike en klei-growwe partikel flodders het ‘n konstante liniëre funksie tussen die statiese en dinamiese grens-spannings bestaan. Verskeie verhoudings uit die literatuur het goeie korrelasie bewerkstellig met die waargenome rheologie veranderinge. Hierdie empiriese en semi-empiriese modelle doen egter min om die megansimes betrokke in die toevoeging van growwe partikels te verduidelik. ‘n Nuwe korrelasie is voorgestel, naamlik die Residu Klei Konsentrasie. Hierdie model voorspel die verandering in reologiese eienskappe gebaseer op ‘n addisionele klei konsentrasie, wat ‘n liniëre funkise is van die growwe partikel konsentrasie. Die goeie korrelasie gesien met die model versterk die idée dat die growwe partikel in ‘n soortgelyke manier as ‘n flok gedra in die teenwoordigheid van ander flokke. Deur middel van ‘n tipiese industriële voorbeeld is die belangrikheid in die keuse van die regte korrelasie geillustreer. Die Residu Klei Konsentrasie metode het die mees konservatiewe resultate gelewer. Hierdie feit gekombineerd met die model se soliede teoreitiese beginsels versterk dit as voorgestelde korrelasie vir ontwerp.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/18629
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