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Dynamic Modelling and Process Control of ZnS Precipitation

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This paper presents the dynamic modelling and design of a control strategy for the ZnS precipitation process. During lab‐scale experiments, the sulfide concentration in a precipitator was controlled at a prespecified pS value by manipulating the flow from a buffer vessel. Batch tests showed that the optimal condition for zinc sulfide precipitation is at a sulfide concentration of 10 −15  mole/l (pS 15). Experiments with the precipitator showed that the sulfide concentration highly deviates from a given setpoint when proportional (P) control is used, but this deviation can be decreased using a Proportional Integral (PI) controller. Moreover, the PI controller was able to handle sudden disturbances in the process conditions (pH, influent flow rate, or zinc and sulfide concentration). Additional precipitation experiments were conducted using effluent from a sulfate reducing gas‐lift reactor to determine if the compounds present in the effluent influence the control process. With the gas‐lift reactor effluent and a PI controller, the desired sulfide concentration was reached almost instantaneously (within 15 minutes) within acceptable margins (2–5%).
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Keywords: PI controller; ZnS; precipitation; process control

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Sub‐department of Environmental Technology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands 2: System and Control Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Publication date: 01 January 2006

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