Imperial College London

Dr Pablo Brito-Parada

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Senior Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 9980p.brito-parada Website




2.55Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





Research interests

My research activity focuses on the design and optimisation of multiphase separations, combining novel experimental techniques and numerical modelling as tools for process and equipment evaluation and design. I am also interested in fundamental aspects of foam physics and bubble-particle interaction phenomena, as well as the development and application of multicriteria decision-support methods for equipment selection.

Froth Flotation

My work on froth flotation includes the modelling of complex phenomena in the pulp and froth zones (using the Finite Element Method and developing Population Balance modelling capabilities in Fluidity) and the use of experimental techniques to characterise these systems. I have led optimisation testwork at flotation plants worldwide to enhance metallurgical recovery and assess flotation cell design. 

Froth flotation was the focus of one of the projects within the Rio Tinto Centre for Advanced Mineral Recovery and the study of two-phase foams and three-phase mineralised froths continues to be a key component of my research. A new H2020 project that will start later in 2019 will implement and scale up innovative technologies to enhance fine particle flotation and unlock fine grained deposits of critical raw materials.


I am interested in developing modelling tools for assessing the impact of metallurgical variability on mineral processing operations. This topic is a key component of Horizon 2020 project IMPaCT (€7 million funding), for which mineral processing flowsheets will be developed with an emphasis on low impact solutions with regards to water, energy and environmental impact.


I was a work package leader in PRODIAS ('Processing Diluted Aqueous Systems'), a €10 million project funded by the European Union with the aim of fostering competitiveness of the European process industry. The project focused on unlocking the potential of renewable based products made via industrial biotechnology by significantly decreasing production costs, increasing productivity and efficiency, lowering energy consumption, and accelerating process developments. I am particularly interested in the use of small hydrocyclones for dewatering and classification, as well as in the application of decision support techniques for the design of downstream processes and equipment selection. 

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Marmiroli B, Rigamonti L, Brito-Parada PR, 2021, Life Cycle Assessment in mineral processing – a review of the role of flotation, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Vol:27, ISSN:0948-3349, Pages:62-81

Mesa D, Cole K, van Heerden MR, et al., 2021, Hydrodynamic characterisation of flotation impeller designs using Positron Emission Particle Tracking (PEPT), Separation and Purification Technology, Vol:276, ISSN:0950-4214, Pages:1-19

Quintanilla P, Neethling SJ, Navia D, et al., 2021, A dynamic flotation model for predictive control incorporating froth physics. Part I: Model development, Minerals Engineering, Vol:173, ISSN:0892-6875, Pages:1-23

Beylot A, Muller S, Segura-Salazar J, et al., 2021, Switch on-switch off small-scale mining: Environmental performance in a life cycle perspective, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol:312, ISSN:0959-6526

Vega-Garcia D, Brito Parada P, Cilliers JJ, 2018, Optimising small hydrocyclone design using 3D printing and CFD simulations, Chemical Engineering Journal, Vol:350, ISSN:1385-8947, Pages:653-659

Mackay I, Mendez E, Molina I, et al., 2018, Dynamic froth stability of copper flotation tailings, Minerals Engineering, Vol:124, ISSN:0892-6875, Pages:103-107

Brito Parada P, Neethling S, 2018, Predicting flotation behaviour – the interaction between froth stability and performance, Minerals Engineering, Vol:120, ISSN:0892-6875, Pages:60-65

Bhutani G, Brito Parada P, 2016, Analytical solution for a three-dimensional non-homogeneous bivariate population balance equation---a special case, International Journal of Multiphase Flow, Vol:89, ISSN:1879-3533, Pages:413-416

More Publications