CPFD Software for Ore Processing
Product Announcement from CPFD Software, LLC
Many economically valuable ores must be processed after raw mining. These include: titanium dioxide used as a white pigment in paint or as a strategic metal (Ti), polycrystalline silicon in ultrahigh purity form used in photovoltaic (PV) panels and semiconductors, zirconium dioxide for nuclear fuel rod cladding, as well as many other applications. The processing of such ores encompasses a wide range of gas-solids and liquid-solids flow processes. Below are some select examples of fluid-particle modeling pertinent to ore processing for which Barracuda has already been successfully applied.
Titanium Tetrachloride "Chlorinator"
Deep fluidized bed reactors typically 3 to 8 meters in diameter are commonly used to react chlorine gas with a relatively high-grade ore to produce TiCl4. The chlorine gas flow fluidizes a particulate bed comprised of raw ore, e.g. rutile, and coke. Barracuda simulations have been successfully employed by several customers to reveal poor fluidization, especially in the segregation of the ore and coke, which have very different densities and particle size distributions. Additional interest has been directed towards wear at chlorine riser locations and the blowover of 'fines'. Additionally, Barracuda's chemical reaction rate formulation can include both ore and coke concentrations in any location, and this is often the basis of rate relationships for a chlorinator.
Polycrystalline Silicon Reactors
The viability of cost competitive photovoltaic power for large-scale electric production has been made possible by the use of new fluidized bed reactor technology. Previously, the production of high-purity (99.999%) silicon could only be done in a slow, batch mode process. However, new two-stage reactor technology has enabled continuous processing with tremendous cost savings, hence enabling wide spread PV usage. Barracuda has been successfully employed for both reactor types: the trichlorosilane (SiHCl3) reactor, and the 'deposition' reactor. In the deposition reactor a gas-phase reaction produces silicon (Si) as a solid – hence the Barracuda chemical reaction model of the fluid bed causes the bed's silicon particles to grow in size. The reactor is often a spouted bed design and Barracuda can therefore capture all of the important physics of gas-solids fluidization, mixing from side jets, quantify reaction zones and the growth rate of silicon particles, and predict the movement of Si solids from the vessel.
Other Ore Processing Technologies
Barracuda can be used to assist with design and decision making on many other processes associated with ore processing, from special reactor designs, to related steps in the overall process. Examples include: ore roasting and drying; calcination; reduction of iron oxide; gravitational separation in liquid units, and various feed and transport line issues.