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Modeling of a centrifuge device and validation of the efficiency estimate by comparison with experimental data

Abstract : In the nuclear industry and specifically in the context of nuclear spent fuel reprocessing, the function of a centrifuge is to stop the particles that were not dissolved by the nitric dissolution step. Those particles are not desirable in the liquid-liquid extraction devices responsible for recovering the noble materials. The high level of radioactivity of the involved materials usually makes impossible the basic measurements required for a better knowledge and optimization of the devices.In this context, the laboratory of chemical engineering and instrumentation of CEA Marcoule undertook a numerical modelling of centrifuges supported by experimental studies. Data acquisitions were performed on a CEPA LS laboratory scale centrifuge produced by the CEPA Company.Experimental studies gave access to the efficiency of the apparatus under operating conditions ranging from industrial conditions to so-called degraded conditions. Two types of powder were used for this study TiO$_2$ powders representative of the insoluble particles of the industrial process and a PMMA powder selected for its ease of measurement by standard laser granulometers.The numerical model, implemented in OpenFoam, handles three-phase-flows involving gas, water and particles. It is based on the combination of a Volume Of Fluid (VOF) solver with a lagrangian particle tracking solver using the Multi-Phase-Particle-In-Cell (MPPIC) method. The bowl rotation was modelled by the Multi-Reference-Frames2 (MRF) method. Comparison of the calculations with the experimental data validates the model for TiO$_2$ particle diameters greater than 0.5 $\mu$ for centrifugal accelerations ranging from 600 to 2000g and feed rates ranging from 21 to 42L/h. Below these sizes, the numerical model underestimates the efficiency of the laboratory centrifuge. Regarding the PMMA powder, the model showed the same trends as the experimental observations which indicated a poor efficiency of the centrifuge even at 2000g. The numerical model has been validated under operating conditions comparable to industrial conditions and can now be used as a tool to assist the industrial centrifuge management.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 24, 2020 - 2:20:10 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - 11:28:14 AM

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  • HAL Id : cea-02338572, version 1

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T. Randriamanantena, D. Ode, K. Mandrick, E. Tronche. Modeling of a centrifuge device and validation of the efficiency estimate by comparison with experimental data. EFMC 12 - 12th European Fluid Mechanics Conference, Sep 2018, Vienne, Austria. ⟨cea-02338572⟩

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