Analysis of energy sustainability in ore slurry pumping transport systems

Yunesky Masip Macía, Jacqueline Pedrera, Max Túlio Castro, Guillermo Vilalta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mining industry is characterized by a high consumption of energy due to the wide diversity of processes involved, specifically the transportation of ore slurry via pipeline systems. This study investigates the relationship among the variables that define the slurry transportation system to minimize the power requirements and increase energy sustainability. The energy indicator (I), the criterion used for the energy assessment of three different pumping system layouts, was computed via numerical simulation. Optimization of response I was carried out through a statistical technique in the design of the experiment. In the study, four variables were defined to describe the slurry transportation systems, two of which are associated with the piping system (length L and diameter D); the other two are related to the slurry pattern (the volumetric concentration Cv and granulometry D50). The results show that all variables are statistically significant relative to the indicator I, with L having the greatest amplitude of variation in the response, increasing the energy indicator by approximately 60%. Likewise, the decrease of the D50 from 300 μm to 100 μm produces an average decrease of I of 24%. Moreover, the interaction among the factors indicates that two pairs of factors are correlated, namely D50 with L and D with L. Finally, a predictive model obtained a fit that satisfactorily relates with the numerical data, allowing, in a preliminary way, to identify the minimum power requirement in iron ore slurry pipeline systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3191
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Design of experiments
  • Energy sustainability
  • Numerical simulation
  • Predictive model
  • Slurry transportation

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