CFD-DEM simulation of two-phase flows in the flash smelting settler

Jani-Petteri Jylhä
Aalto University, Finland
Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering
Ari Jokilaakso
January 2018 - June 2022

Flash smelting furnaces are widely used in copper production. In flash smelting process, concentrate, oxygen enriched air and flux are fed to reaction shaft, where the materials melt forming copper matte and slag. These form two immiscible layers in a settler, where heavier matte is at the bottom. Phenomena in the reaction shaft are well known, but phenomena in the settler are not yet as well understood. Droplet behavior in the settler has significant effect on copper losses and, thus, is subject of great interest.

The flash smelting settler is currently studied using both CFD and CFD-DEM coupling. In this work, CFD-DEM coupling is used to study the effect of coalescence in a settling matte droplet cluster. The slag layer is flowing towards a tapping hole pulling the droplets. The flows form a funneling effect pulling remaining droplets faster through the slag.

Finnish Steel and Metal Producers’ Fund

EDEM has provided us with increased resolution to settling studies as each droplet can be simulated. API support is essential for including more complex phenomena, such as coalescence.

Jani-Petteri Jylhä Aalto University