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Dewatering

ABSTRACT
Dewatering is an important unit operation in the field of mineral processing. It is
done to remove the water absorbed by the particles and thus, will aid for easier
transportation of the ore. The activity was done to introduce the use of two dewatering
techniques: flocculation and sedimentation. The main objective is to observe the
difference in the settling behaviors specifically in the settling rates of the two methods.
The two methods were done to observe their similarities and differences and on the basic
mechanism and procedures of the methods tested.

KEY WORDS: Dewatering, flocculation, sedimentation, settling rates

1. INTRODUCTION Flocculation is a process wherein


colloids come out of suspension in the form
of floc or flake, either spontaneously or due
1.1 Backgound of the Study to the addition of a clarifying agent called the
flocculant. Flocculants are chemicals that
Dewatering is an important process in promote flocculation by causing colloids and
mineral processing. The purpose of other suspended particles in liquids to
dewatering is to remove water absorbed by aggregate, forming a floc.. Flocculants are
the particles which increases the pulp density. used in water treatment processes to improve
This is done for a number of reasons, the sedimentation or filterability of small
specifically, to enable ore handling and particles. The action differs from
concentrates to be transported easily, allow precipitation in that, prior to flocculation,
further processing to occur and to dispose of colloids are merely suspended in a liquid and
the gangue. The separation of the solid not actually dissolved in a solution. In the
materials from the liquid one is a problem flocculated system, there is no formation of a
metallurgists often deal with. Dewatering cake, since all the flocs are in the suspension.
process is needed in order to separate the
solid materials from the liquid part. Sedimentation operates by passing
Dewatering processes are used to separate the water into a large thickener or clarifier. In
suspended solids portion from the water. The these devices, the particles settle out of the
suspended particles vary considerably in slurry under the effects of gravity, or
source, composition, charge, particle size, centripetal forces. These are limited by the
shape, and density. In this this activity, the surface chemistry of the particles and the size
focus is only on two processes, flocculation of the particles. To aid in the sedimentation
and sedimentation. process, flocculants and coagulants are added
to reduce the repulsive forces between the
particles.
flocculant were added to the graduated
cylinder and the solution was stirred. The
1.2 Objectives of the Study
solution was then allowed to settle until the
The objective of the study is to show 1000 mL mark and the height of the
the process of dewatering and to familiarize supernatant liquid was recorded with an
the students with the correct way of interval of one minute per measurement.
practicing dewatering, specifically,
flocculation and sedimentation.
Sedimentation
Five 100 – gram of ore sample were
prepared and weighed. From the five 100 –
1.3 Significance of the Study
gram sample, a pulp with densities of 10%,
The study aims to differentiate the 15%, 20%, 25%, and 30% was prepared. Five
behaviour of settling of the ore in the two samples of 100 grams were prepared and
processes, flocculation and sedimentation. mixed with different volumes of water to
Specifically, comparison between the settling have a varying spectre of solid content. The
rates of the two processes will be observed. volumes of water were 1000 mL for 10%,
666 mL for 15%, 500mL for 20%, 400 mL
It also aims to show the correct way
for 25%, and 333 mL for 30%. Agitation and
of doing the said processes.
stirring were then done to the solution and
then it was allowed to settle. The pulp was
stirred and was allowed to settle. The height
2. MATERIALS AND
of the solid and liquid was tallied with
METHODS
varying time. The height of both the clear
liquid and the solids were recorded at varied
2.1 Materials time intervals.

The materials used are six 1000-mL


plastic graduated cylinder, one 50.011g and
five 100g of clay sample, a flocculant, a
stirrer, a timer, and tap water.
3. RESULTS AND
DISCUSSIONS
2.2 Methodology

FLOCCULATION DATA
Flocculation
A 50g sample of clay was weighed TIME Height Height
and was placed inside a 1-liter graduated (minutes) Solids (cm) Water (cm)
cylinder. Water was added until it reached the 1 7 30
1000 mL mark. Then, another 25 mL of water
2 4.3 32.7
was added to the solution. Five drops of the
3 3.7 33.3 25 6.3 29.2
4 3.3 33.7 30 5.5 30.0
5 3 34
40 5.0 30.5
6 2.9 34.1
50 4.9 30.6
7 2.8 34.2
60 4.7 30.8
8 2.8 34.2
75 4.5 31.0
9 2.6 34.4
10 2.6 34.4 90 4.3 31.2

11 2.5 34.5 150 4.0 31.5


12 2.5 34.5 210 3.9 31.6
13 2.5 34.5 48 hours 3.7 31.8
14 2.5 34.5
Table 2. Data obtained in sedimentation
Table 1. Data obtained from flocculation method with 10% solids at 1000mL water.
using 50.011 g of sample
From the table shown above, it shows
the height of solids, height of water and the TIME 666 mL- 15%
corresponding time in minutes. The 50.011 (minutes) Hsolid Hw(cm)
grams of sample settled in 14 minutes. By (cm)
using excel, the rate of separation is
computed using the formula: 5 18.5 7.0

Rate = height/ time 10 12.3 13.2

Therefore: 15 8.2 17.3

Rate = 1.028360053 cm/min 20 6.3 19.2


SEDIMENTATION DATA 25 5.4 20.1

TIME 1000 mL- 10% 30 5.1 20.4

(minutes) Hsolid Hw (cm) 40 4.7 20.8


(cm) 50 4.6 20.9
5 25.5 10.0 60 4.4 21.1
10 17.6 17.9 75 4.2 21.3
15 11.0 24.5 90 4.1 21.4
20 8.0 27.5 150 3.8 21.7
210 3.7 21.8 10 9.3 6.7
48 hours 3.7 21.8 15 7.2 8.8
Table 3. Data obtained in sedimentation 20 5.5 10.5
method with 15% solids at 666mL water.
25 5.2 10.8
30 5.0 11.0
TIME 500 mL- 20%
40 4.6 11.4
(minutes) Hsolid Hw (cm)
50 4.5 11.5
(cm)
5 14.6 4.9 60 4.5 11.5

10 11.3 8.2 75 4.4 11.6

15 8.5 11.0 90 4.3 11.7


150 4.0 12.0
20 6.8 12.7
25 5.8 13.7 210 3.9 12.1

30 5.5 14.0 48 hours 3.8 12.2

40 5.2 14.3 Table 5. Data obtained in sedimentation


method with 25% solids at 400mL water.
50 5.0 14.5
60 4.8 14.7
TIME 333 mL- 30%
75 4.6 14.9
(minutes) Hsolid Hw (cm)
90 4.4 15.1 (cm)
150 4.1 15.4 5 11.7 2.1
210 4.0 15.5 10 10.0 3.8
48 hours 3.75 15.75 15 8.4 5.4
Table 4. Data obtained in sedimentation 20 6.8 7.0
method with 20% solids at 500mL water.
25 6.0 7.8
30 5.8 8.0
TIME 400 mL- 25%
40 5.5 8.3
(minutes) Hsolid Hw (cm)
50 5.2 8.6
(cm)
5 12.0 4.0 60 5.0 8.8
75 4.9 8.9 primarily on gravity for the particles to settle.
Others factors like shape of particles, size and
90 4.6 9.2 density of the solids also has an effect in the
150 4.3 9.5 settling rate of the particles

210 4.2 9.6


48 hours 3.7 10.1
5. REFERENCES
Table 6. Data obtained in sedimentation
method with 30% solids at 333mL water.
[1] Mineral Processing McLanahan.
(n.d.).Retrieved February 27, 2018, from
Tables 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 shows data in https://www.mclanahan.com/industries/mine
sedimentation with 10% solids at 1000mL ral-processing/
water, 15% solids at 666mL water, 20%
solids at 500mL water, 25% solids at 400mL [2] Earle, R. L. (1983). Sedimentation.
water and 30% solids at 333mL water, NZIFST Inc., Unit Operations in Food
respectively. The sedimentation process was Processing
done at different concentrations, taken at [3]www.slideshare.org/flocculationandsedi
particular time intervals. It can be observed mentation% B. Wills, 1979, Wills’ Mineral
from the table that almost all samples settled Processing Technology
at the same level after 48 hours. However, in
comparison to flocculation, it is evident that
based on the gathered data, settling during
sedimentation is relatively slower than the
flocculation process.

4 CONCLUSIONS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS

For the two methods of dewatering


used in the study, settling of particles in the
sedimentation process is relatively slower in
comparison to flocculation. This can be
attributed to the fact that flocculation uses a
chemical reagent or the flocculant which
definitely enhances the settling rate of the
particles. Also, sedimentation depends