Slow and fast diffusion in a lead sulphate gravity separation process

Vincent Cregan, William T. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A model for the growth of lead sulphate particles in a gravity separation system from the crystal glassware industry is presented. The lead sulphate particles are an undesirable byproduct, and thus the model is used to ascertain the optimal system temperature configuration such that particle extraction is maximised. The model describes the evolution of a single, spherical particle due to the mass flux of lead particles from a surrounding acid solution. We divide the concentration field into two separate regions. Specifically, a relatively small boundary layer region around the particle is characterised by fast diffusion, and is thus considered quasi-static. In contrast, diffusion in the far-field is slower, and hence assumed to be time-dependent. The final system consisting of two nonlinear, coupled ordinary differential equations for the particle radius and lead concentration, is integrated numerically.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012001
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventMURPHYS-HSFS-2016: Workshop on Slow-Fast Systems with Hysteresis - Centre de Recerca Matemàtica, Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 13 Jun 201617 Jun 2016 (Link to Conference Poster)


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