Dr Tuan Nguyen, member of the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) team.
Dr Tuan Nguyen: using computational fluid dynamics to enhance thickener performance
Dr Tuan Nguyen plays a key role in the AMIRA P266 Improving Thickener Technology project, which is run through the Parker Cooperative Research Centre for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions.
29 June 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011
Dr Nguyen is a Project Leader with CSIRO who has been working closely with the minerals industry for more than a decade to develop enhanced processes in the thickener stage through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling.
The approach uses advanced computer software to model the flow of fluids, solids distribution and flocculation processes in gravity thickeners. This allows variations in physical design and operational parameters to be tested in order to achieve the best possible performance.
In the AMIRA P266 Improving Thickener Technology project, his work involves developing CFD models, knowledge and guidelines to improve thickener performance for the sponsor companies. The technology has helped the companies achieve:
greater operational stability
enhanced overflow clarity
higher underflow density
lower flocculant consumption.
Since the project began in the late 1980s, the mining industry has achieved efficiency gains worth an estimated A$295 million (NPV), and in the longer term the gains are expected to exceed A$500 million (NPV).
The technology is now being applied to the design and optimisation of solids-liquid separation devices in other industries, such as waste water treatment and power generation.
Dr Nguyen and the Improving Thickener Technology team were awarded the CSIRO Medal for outstanding research achievements.
Before joining CSIRO, Dr Nguyen worked for three years as a design and development engineer with International Combustion Ltd in Sydney, Australia.
In 1983 he joined CSIRO Chemical and Wood Technology to develop CFD models to study heat and mass transfer in grain storage.
In 1987, he moved to CSIRO Minerals to carry out research on numerical and physical modelling of multi-phase flows and combustion in SIROSMELT™, flash smelting, and HIsmelt processes.
He joined the AMIRA P266 Improving Thickener Technology project in 1996 to develop CFD models of swirling and particulate flows in industrial thickeners.
He has been the principal researcher for numerous company-specific studies modelling flows and flocculation kinetics in thickeners.
Dr Nguyen’s other research interests include:
heat and mass transfer
In 1975 Dr Nguyen completed a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
He continued his study at the University of New South Wales and in 1980 completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering.
Dr Nguyen doctoral thesis was titled CFD investigation of fluid flow and heat transfer in parallel-plate heat exchangers.
Dr Nguyen and the Improving Thickener Technology team were awarded the:
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