2008 SME • Passive Technology for Entrained Air Measurement in Pipes and Gas Holdup
Novel Passive Technology for Entrained Air Measurement in Pipes and Gas Holdup Measurements in Column Cells
Measurements of the quantity of entrained air within processes have challenged instrumentation developers for years. This is particularly true in the unique and demanding operating environment and applications seen in minerals processing. In minerals processing applications, entrained air plays a role in errors seen within nuclear density gauge measurements and in pumping efficiency. It is also the major component of flotation processes. The measurement of the quantity of entrained air, known as the gas void fraction, can now be performed from the outside of a process pipe through CiDRA’s patented passive sonar array-based technology. Within column cells, the need for a robust, no maintenance, accurate means of measuring the entrained air, known as gas holdup, has resulted in a submersible version of this technology.
CiDRA’s meter technology calculates the gas void fraction by first measuring the speed at which naturally occurring sound in the process slurry propagates past an axial array of sensors. These sensors are incorporated in a band that is wrapped around the outside of the pipe, resulting in no process downtimes for installation and unprecedented reliability. A known relationship between this speed of sound and the entrained air captured in the form of bubbles within the slurry is then applied in CiDRA’s meter to calculate the gas void fraction. This paper will present the measurement technology, its operation, its calibration and its application in a variety of gas void fraction and gas holdup measurement situations such as pumping efficiencies, hydrocyclone operation, external sparging, and column cells.