Thesis for the Degree of Master of Science


Year 1999
Tero Kojo

Steady-state mass balance simulation of hydrometallurgical processes

Simulation has become an established part of modern hydrometallurgical process design and analysis. Steady-state mass balance calculations are used in optimising the production capacity of a plant, acquiring information about unknown streams and verifying the accuracy of flowrate measurements. The quality of a simulator is evaluated on the basis of incorporated mathematical models and simulation routines

The main aim of this thesis was to design and implement a steady-state mass balancing algorithm into the simulation environment developed at the Laboratory of Process Control and Automation. The algorithm is used in simulating hydrometallurgical and chemical processes.

In the beginning of the literature part the most common commercial simulators are described. Next the literature part focuses on steady-state mass balance calculations and algorithms. The two main algorithms, the sequential modular algorithm and the equation orientated one, are presented in detail.

The experimental part concentrates on the development of a new algorithm for mass balance calculations and the implementation of the algorithm into the simulator. Simulation examples from the Harjavalta nickel leaching plant will be used to evaluate the quality of the developed algorithm. The evaluation concentrates on the stability and convergence of the algorithm. Based on comparison of the results with the simulated plant data, the developed algorithm was found to be effective and suitable for metallurgical simulations.

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