Solvent Extraction (SX)
Tenova Advanced Technologies operates as a combined technology developer and package plant supplier in Solvent Extraction (SX) and Electrowinning (EW) and our experience and expertise covers all aspects of SX.
Tenova Advanced Technologies (TAT) operates as a combined technology developer and package plant supplier in SX and EW and our experience and expertise covers all aspects of SX, including:
- Development of SX processes utilizing TAT’s in-house R&D center
- Feasibility studies and cost estimates
- Detailed design, supply and construction of SX plants based upon:
- Tenova Settler™ (proprietary reverse flow mixer settler)
- Tenova Pulsed Column
- Tenova Turbulent Technologies Mixing System
The Tenova Settler™ is a patented technology that enhances efficiency and provides numerous advantages as compared to conventional settlers used in traditional SX circuits.
- High process efficiency with low organic loss
- Compact layout
- Short construction time
- Low capital cost
- Ease of operation and maintenance
TAT’s significant experience in designing, installing and commissioning SX plants employing the Tenova Settler™ technology, enables it to supply the SX section of an SX plant on a Lump Sum Turnkey (LSTK) basis providing the client with full process and mechanical guarantees.
Some of the many advantages of the Tenova Settler™ technology as compared to similar designs include:
- Approximately a 20 % lower in capital cost for the SX plant
- Increased flux rate capability which can further reduce costs
- Decreased organic losses
- Operator friendly physical layout
- Total automatic control capability
- Improved fire prevention and control features
Tenova Pulsed Column
The Tenova Pulsed Column is a highly efficient and cost-effective contactor that enhances SX during the extraction, stripping and scrubbing or washing processes.
Some of the many advantages of the Tenova Pulsed Column technology include:
- The extraction is a multi-stage continuous process
- The system can handle liquids with suspended solids or which form third phases
- Safe and environmentally friendly process
- The columns have no internal moving parts
- A fully automated system
- Low maintenance and operating costs
- Dramatically reduces floor space required
- Head space can be inerted, virtually eliminating solvent loss and fire risk
Virtually all industrial SX processes can be enhanced by employing the Tenova Pulsed Column technology; particularly those with a fast rate of mass transfer – some of these include:
- Minerals processing: uranium, nickel, cobalt, zinc, titanium
- Chemical industry: nitric, phosphoric and hydrochloric acid
- Environmental protection: recovery of nitrates, sulfuric acid, cyanides, and halides
- Additional applications include: pharmaceutical, food and petroleum industries
Tenova Turbulent Technologies Mixing System
Tenova Turbulent Technologies Mixing System is a leading new mixing technology that enables a significant reduction of entrainment levels without changing the process flow. The technology can be easily retrofitted to most existing mixer settlers or installed in new SX plants.
A few unique capabilities of this mixing technology:
- Creates uniform dispersion in the mixing tank (avoiding formation of small droplets)
- Predictable and controlled drop size distribution as a function of the mixing regime, allowing process optimization
Some of the advantages of the Tenova Turbulent Technologies Mixing System include:
- Reduction in entrainment of expensive extractants
- Reduction in organic contamination in the product stream
- Reduction in ecological impact of organics in the raffinate stream
- Enabling of an increase of settling flux (flow per unit settler area) while maintaining the same level of entrainment
- Reduction in maintenance costs
- Elimination of the need for after-settlers
Lump Sum Turnkey and Design & Supply Solutions
Tenova Advanced Technologies is one of only a few companies able to offer pulsed column and mixer settler design and installation as a complete package, with process and mechanical guarantees. Accurate cost estimates are generated during the feasibility study phases and are based upon proven scale-up factors from pilot scale test work.
Our SX R&D team offers comprehensive process and equipment development, supported by a complete suite of facilities and laboratories for in-house bench-scale and pilot testing of SX circuits and state-of-the-art analytical services. Our extensive collaborative network covers research institutions and test work laboratories in Australia, Canada and South Africa.
We have implemented SX projects across a range of commodities, many of which moved from laboratory test work, bench and mini-pilot plant testing, through to pilot and demonstration plants, and implementation of full-scale industrial plants.
- Minerals and metals industry: processing of uranium, copper, nickel, cobalt, gold, zinc, rare earth elements and vanadium
- Specialized SX processes for the minerals industry including sulfuric acid, halides and cyanide removal
- Chemical industry: processing of nitric, phosphoric, hydrochloric and citric acids, inorganic salts and organic solvents
- Bio-based chemical industry: downstream separation of bio-based products and bio-fuels
- Environmental protection: effluent treatment, removal of nitrates and heavy metals
- Petrochemical industry: processing of lubricant oils and caprolactam
SX Project Development
Based upon years of experience and know-how, we have developed and refined a comprehensive step-by-step approach for project development, ensuring the all-round fulfillment of project requirements and the ultimate successful delivery of the project.
Brief Overview of Selected Projects
- Antofagasta Minerals, Antucoya, Chile: Design, supply and construction of an 80,000 tpa copper SX-EW plant
- Baja Mining, Boleo, Mexico: Design of a 60,000 tpa copper SX-EW plant consisting of 4 SX circuits and 2 EW facilities
- Kazakhmys, North Nurkazgan, Kazakhstan: Design and supply of a 3,000 tpa copper SX plant
- Vale Inco, Long Harbor, Canada: Design and supply of a nickel/cobalt/copper SX plant
- AngloGold Ashanti, SUP SX Replacement, South Africa: Design and supply of a uranium SX plant
- Vale, Goro, New Caledonia: Design and supply of two SX plants for nickel and cobalt
- Codelco, Gaby, Chile: Design, supply and construction of a 150,000 tpa copper SX-EW plant
- BHP, Olympic Dam, South Australia: Design, supply and construction of a uranium SX plant
- Vale, Tres Valles, Chile: Design, supply and construction of a 22,000 tpa copper SX-EW plant