Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Metallurgical Engineering

Committee Chair

Courtney Young

First Advisor

Richard LaDouceur

Second Advisor

David Hutchins


Gas dispersion in column flotation is critical for optimizing particle-bubble interaction and maximizing recovery. The effect of various flotation frothers on axial gas dispersion rates in a column flotation cell were measured using electrical resistance tomography (ERT). Tests included two-phase (gas-liquid) and three-phase (gas-liquid-solid) to determine the effect of mechanical parameters and the presence of solids on gas dispersion. Gas holdup can be measured using ERT and utilized in the determination of axial gas dispersion rate in the column. The ERT is constructed with two sensor planes making it possible to simultaneously capture gas holdup values at one cm and seven cm above the cavitation sparger. Three frothers of varying strengths were used to investigate axial dispersion rates. Experimental conditions were modified by altering the superficial gas rate, frother concentration, and sparger pump speed. The effects of varying experimental conditions were captured and are represented using concentration tomograms. There is a strong positive correlation between axial dispersion rate, frother strength, and machine operating parameters.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Metallurgical/Mineral Processing Engineering

Included in

Metallurgy Commons