By Greg Fenrick

The process of the rotary drum filter is continuous. Each revolution of the drum consists of cake formation, cake washing (if needed), dewatering or drying, and cake discharge. As the drum rotates, it is partially submerged in the feed slurry. Vacuum draws liquid through the filter medium (cloth) on the drum surface, which retains the solids. The vacuum pulls air (or gas) through the cake and continues to remove moisture as the drum rotates. If required, the cake can be washed to remove impurities or to extract more product. Additional drying of the cake follows washing. Finally, the cake is discharged from the drum to a conveyor or chute to the next process step. The filtrate and air pulled through the medium flow through internal filtrate pipes and pass though the rotary valve and into the filtrate receiver. The liquid stream is separated from the vapor stream in the receiver. Liquid filtrate is then pumped to the next step in the process. (Komline-Sanderson)

 

Figure 1 - (Courtesy of the EduMine course The Mill Operating Resource – 2: Mineral Recovery)

Figure 2 - A large rotary drum vacuum filter produces important byproducts in a European zinc leaching plant. (Courtesy of FLSmidth Minerals)

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