A mass transfer approach to flotation column design

Mku T. Ityokumbul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Flotation equipment design is an area of reactor engineering that has not attracted much research interest in chemical engineering. The commercial success of flotation remains a triumph of enlightened know how over inadequate know why as key design and scale-up parameters (e.g. column height) continue to be dictated by such non-process considerations as crane rail and building heights (Ounpuu and Tremblay, 1991). The shortcomings in the present approach to flotation column design and scale-up are discussed. It is shown that the use of first order kinetic expression in flotation column design and scale-up is not correct insofar as the recovery and order of the process are concentration dependent. By using analogy with interface mass transfer, a new approach to flotation column design is presented. Using literature data, it is shown that only a short recovery zone is required for particles made selectively hydrophobic. Recent experimental data from 1.2m flotation column (Ounpuu and Tremblay, 1991) and those of others as well (Wheeler, 1984; Bensely 1985; Jameson, 1988; Reddy 1988) confirm this observation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3605-3612
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number13-14
StatePublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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