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Medium density control for coal washing dense medium cyclone circuits

Zhang, Lijun and Xia, Xiaohua and Zhang, Jiangfeng (2015) Medium density control for coal washing dense medium cyclone circuits. IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, 23 (3). pp. 1117-1122. ISSN 1063-6536

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The dense medium cyclone (DMC) process used in coal beneficiation plants is studied from a control system perspective. Employing the dynamic model of the DMC process derived from mass flow balance, a model-based control strategy is proposed. The controller adjusts the density of medium used to enhance separation in the DMC process according to measurements on percentages of different components in raw coal. The first objective of the control is to maintain the carbon content in the clean coal to a set level. The second purpose is to minimize energy consumption of the DMC process in view of the fast increasing electricity price. The controller solves an optimization problem formulated to determine the density of medium whenever new measurements are available. Both coal quality and DMC operational constraints are accounted for. Simulations, based on measured plant data, are carried out to verify the feasibility and effectiveness of the control strategy designed. The results show that the designed controller is able to fulfill its purpose satisfactorily when the characteristics of the raw coal varies and when measurement uncertainties are in presence.