A/Prof Anthony Stickland - Solid-liquid Separation of Compressible Suspensions - 2023-10-09 

Abstract: Suspensions of fine and cohesive particles demonstrate pressure dependent rate and extent during solid-liquid separation. This is usually termed ‘compressible’ behaviour. Such suspensions are common across minerals processing, water treatment, and food processing, to name but a few. Unfortunately, traditional theories of sedimentation and filtration assume incompressible behaviour. In contrast, compressional rheology, developed in 1987, is a theoretical framework for compressible suspensions that explicitly incorporates pressure dependent effects. Since 1987, researchers at The University of Melbourne have developed a suite of sedimentation, centrifugation and filtration techniques for extracting locally varying compressibility and permeability. These properties are used in process models of thickeners, filters, and centrifuges, for example, to predict performance and provide insights into process optimisation.


Biography: A/Prof Anthony Stickland is an academic in Chemical Engineering at The University of Melbourne, where he lectures ‘Fluid Mechanics’, ‘Particle Technology’, and ‘Sustainable Minerals and Recycling’.  He is a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Enabling Eco-Efficient Mineral Beneficiation and leads the Sludge Group, which undertakes research in particulate suspension rheology and solid-liquid separation. This research covers (1) material characterisation techniques and analysis tools to be able to adequately describe particle and suspension behaviour, (2) models of processes to be able to predict performance for design and optimisation, and (3) development and commercialisation of novel technologies for suspension dewatering and handling. The Sludge Group works closely with industries such as water treatment and minerals processing.