The dynamic behaviour of an industrial copper solvent extraction mixer–settler cascade is modelled to develop an advanced process control system. First, the process is introduced and the dynamical models are formulated. The testing environment is described and the successful results presented. Only industrially measured variables are required and plant-specific McCabe-Thiele diagrams are utilized to predict copper concentrations. The results with constant and adapted parameters are compared and the importance of parameter adaptation is discussed. Testing the simulator with adapted parameters over a period of 1 month of industrial operating data gave data that followed the real process measurements closely. In the future, the mechanistic models will be used for control system development and testing. The model can be used on all copper solvent extraction plants by modifying the flow configuration and adapting parameters.
- copper solvent extraction, dynamic simulation, modelling, mechanistic models, mixer-settler, process control