Efficient comminution operation (ECO)
Energy efficiencyMineral processingPhysical separationResource efficiency
Purpose and goal
Comminution (crushing and grinding) accounts for about 4% of the world’s energy consumption. Moreover, the environmental impacts from the production of tailings due to overgrinding can be significant. In this project, we will consider the problem of improving efficiency in comminution chains in the presence of changes in ore properties, product demands, etc. This will be accomplished by collecting online measurements of variables such as ore size distributions and to change machine speeds and other variables continuously to achieve optimized operation.
Structure and implementation
In a Brazilian mining facility, advanced measurement equipment for measurement of size distribution of ore streams will be installed. Aided by data from these and other sensors, dynamic models for crushing and grinding processes will be developed. These models will be used for developing algorithms for optimised control of the comminution processes. The potential of these algorithms for process optimisation will be tested in simulation but also implemented in normal operation where possible.
The main results of this project will be dynamic models, estimation algorithms, and algorithms for online optimisation and control of crushing and grinding processes, both single processes and whole comminution chains. These will be instrumental in reducing the energy consumption and environmental impact from comminution while maintaining production capacity and product quality.