Performance evaluation of a dense-medium cyclone using alternative silica-based media

Seyed Hassan Amini, Rick Honaker, Aaron Noble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The production of superior metallurgical-grade silicon requires the use of ultra-clean coal containing <. 1.5% ash with no iron contamination. The magnetite suspension utilized for coal cleaning in a dense-medium cyclone (DMC) is a detrimental impurity in the final coal product that dramatically diminishes the purity of silicon. A prior study has demonstrated that several silica-based materials may be suitable alternatives that eliminate iron contamination. To further improve the separation performance and evaluate the silica-based media, DMC separation tests were conducted based on a statistically designed program to identify the role of various operational parameters (i.e. medium relative density, silica media blend ratio, and cyclone apex diameter) in maximizing organic efficiency and minimizing low-density bypass. An ideal medium composition with a bimodal particle size distribution considerably improves medium stability properties while also eliminating the undesirable effects of apex diameter on the DMC separation efficiency. Low-density cutpoints (<. 1.35) are hindered by medium instability, but these issues can be rectified by increasing the amount of fine media particles or decreasing the apex diameter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-400
Number of pages9
JournalPowder Technology
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • Box-Behnken design
  • Cyclone apex
  • Dense-medium cyclone
  • Medium stability
  • Silicon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering


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