Modelling and on-line estimation of zinc sulphide precipitation in

T.I.M. Grootscholten, K.J. Keesman, P.N.L. Lens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper the ZnS precipitation in a continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR) is modelled using mass balances. The dynamics analysis of the model reveals that the ZnS precipitation shows a two time-scales behaviour with inherent numerical stability problems, which therefore needs special attention during implementation. The mass balance model allows the design of an on-line estimator of the zinc concentration and precipitation rate, given only wet-chemical measurements of the sulphide concentration and of the pH in the reactor. The on-line estimation algorithm, also called observer or software sensor, is tested in a simulation experiment with a block disturbance showing numerically stable results. Furthermore, on the basis of real-world experimental data, the observer shows an appropriate performance. The estimation procedure offers good possibilities to be applied for other metal removal processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-660
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • parametric sensitivity control
  • zns precipitation
  • metals
  • recovery
  • state

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