Flash Smelting Settler Design Modifications to Reduce Copper Losses Using Numerical Methods

Nadir Ali Khan*, Ari Jokilaakso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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A mathematical modeling approach was used to test different design modifications in a flash smelting settler to reduce the copper losses in slag, which is economically disadvantageous for copper processing using the pyrometallurgical route. The main purpose of this study was to find ways to reduce copper losses in slag by improving the settling and coalescence of copper matte droplets, in particular, the smallest droplet sizes of ≤100 µm. These improvements inside the flash smelting (FS) settler were targeted through different settler design modifications. Three different design schemes were tested using the commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, Ansys Fluent. These settler design modification schemes included the impact of various baffle types, positioning, the height inside the settler, and settler bottom inclinations. Simulations were carried out with and without coalescence and the results were compared with normal settler design. The results revealed that the settling phenomenon and coalescence efficiency were improved significantly with these design modifications. It was concluded that a single baffle design was optimal for reducing copper losses and increasing coalescence efficiency instead of using multiple baffle arrangements. The top-mounted baffle outperformed the bottom-mounted baffle and inclined settler design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number784
Number of pages15
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • baffles
  • CFD
  • coalescence
  • Eulerian-Eulerian approach
  • population balance model
  • settling
  • slag/matte separation


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