Development of a Dynamic Population Balance Plant Simulator for Mineral Processing Circuits

Document Type : Research Paper


Mineral Processing Department, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


Operational variables of a mineral processing circuit are subjected to different variations. Steady-state
simulation of processes provides an estimate of their ideal stable performance whereas their dynamic
simulation predicts the effects of the variations on the processes or their subsequent processes. In this
paper, a dynamic simulator containing some of the major equipment of mineral processing circuits
(i.e. ball mill, cone crusher, screen, hydrocyclone, mechanical flotation cell, tank leaching and
conveyor belt) was developed. The dynamic simulator of each mentioned unit was also developed
according to population balance models with the help of MATLAB/Simulink environment and was
verified against the data from the literature. Comminution and separation sections were linked using
empirical models which correlate the separation and extraction kinetics to particle size. Applying the
developed simulator, the dynamic behavior of a grinding-leaching circuit was analyzed and the results
showed that such simulations are required for both designing and controlling the circuits.


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