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MEI Online: Solid-Liquid Separation: Latest News: February 10th 2017


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:: Key Considerations in Thickener Modernizations


Thickeners are designed at a point in time for a specific requirement. And while a thickener can be operated within a range around the design parameters, over its life (often in excess of 20 years) it will inevitably be required to adapt to a range of changing conditions which could necessitate a review of its performance and identify the need for an upgrade or modernization. These changed conditions could include:

  • Increased throughput either in tons per hour (tph) or volume (m3/h)
  • Changing ore conditions such as lower grades or smaller particle size distribution (PSD)
  • Changes in environment and social license to operate


Cumulative Effect Of Upstream Capacity Improvements

The number one driver for thickener modernization is increased capacity. Often incremental increases occur over the life of a plant and it is not immediately recognized the impact this may have on thickener performance. When a plant embarks on an efficiency drive which results in a small 1-3% increase and the cumulative effect of this on thickener performance is not easily seen, as each change only marginally impacts thickener performance. Focus in these improvement projects is often upstream at the mills, leach or flotation circuits. However, when viewed as whole over a 10-20 year period these 'efficiency' gains can amount in throughput increases of 20-50%. The resulting decrease in underflow (UF) density, increasing flocculant consumption and torque trips are not recognized as deviating from the design by rotating and changing plant staff who may not be aware of its original design parameters.


Read the full article here: www.outotec.com/en/Minerals-processing-newsletter




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