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Development of Deliquoring Method Enhanced by Electric & Acoustic F orce Fields


The main objective of this project is to develop electro-acoustically aided ceramic filtration method for the mineral industry. By the electro-acoustically aided methods the capacity of deliquoring can be increased 7-10 fold, the dry solid content of the filter cake can be raised by about 10 %, energy consumption can be as low as 0.02-0.03 kWh/kg separated liquid. This energy consumption is only two times higher compared to the conventional mechanical filtration and only 10 % of energy consumption in thermal drying. Besides, this technology meet the increasing challenges of both cleaner technologies and a cleaner environment. This method will be used firstly for the extremely fine Copper- and Titanium oxide suspensions, which average particle size is between 0.1-100 micrometers. In different
experimental stages the following basic research and development work will be done:
* Electro-acoustic properties of suspensions will be determined * New filtration device, which utilizes the effects of electric and ultrasonic fields
* Ultrasonic transducers designed and manufactured for the studied suspensions and for the developed filtration device
* Computer controlled generators to guide and control ultrasonic transducers
* Suitable electrode material for the studied suspensions and electrode placement for the ceramic filter media
* Operation parameters dealing with the electric and ultrasonic fields will be determined for the suspensions to be studied (acoustic connection, intensity level, frequency, intensity of electric field, AC/DC-field, pulsating field) The consortium is complementary and capable to realize this project based on a long term co-operation in previous basic studies dealing with electro-acoustic deliquoring. VTT Energy (Finland, coordinator) has carried out comprehensive basic and applied research dealing with electro-acoustically aided filtration. Loughborough University of Technology (England) has carried out comprehensive basic research in electro-acoustic membrane separation processes. Instituto de Acustica (Spain) has a long experience in acoustics for different applications. Outokumpu Mintec Ltd. (Finland) has a long and comprehensive experience in designing and manufacturing of ceramic solid/liquid separation equipments. Langford Electronics Ltd. (England) has a long and comprehensive experience on
manufacturing of ultrasonic transducers and computer controlled electronics for the ultrasonic transducers. It is expected that the proposed electro-acoustic method can be tested in PILOT-scale I year after the completion of this project and method is expected to be commercialised 1-2 years after the completion of the PILOT-phase. The markets for filtration & separation equipments inside the European Union during 1995 will be 2600 MECU and short term (3 years) potential of the market increase will be 15 %. The same figures for USA and Japan markets are 1700 MECU, 600 MECU and market increases 27 % and 15 %. Medium term (6 years) potential of the market increase will be inside the European Union 24 %, in USA 64 % and in Japan 20 %. The direct economic impact by the sales on the electro-acoustic ceramic deliquoring equipment market to be realised by Outokumpu Mintec Ltd. and Langford Ltd- in the life time of the technology will be 600 MECU after the commercialisation of the technology (year 2000). Brite/EuRam III Areas covered by the proposal are 1.1.1, 2.2.1 and 1.1.2.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Technical Research Centre of Finland
02044 Espoo - Vtt

Participants (4)

Serrano, 144
28006 Madrid
United Kingdom
Ashby Road
Langford Electronics Ltd
United Kingdom
Crown Road Unit 23
B30 3HY Birmingham
Outokumpu Mintec Oy
2 C,mustionkatu 2 C
20750 Turku