1. Solvent Extraction (SX)

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

Tenova Settler™

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