PROCESSING

ABx expecting clean run after bath pilot batch reactor arrives

A BATH pilot batch reactor installed at Alcore’s technology centre on the New South Wales Central Coast will enhance process mixing and help ABx achieve high fluorine yield from aluminium smelter waste.

 Bath pilot batch reactor (centre) installed at Alcore technology centre

Bath pilot batch reactor (centre) installed at Alcore technology centre

Alcore is an 83%-owned subsidiary of ABx.

The bath pilot batch reactor is part of a pilot plant to recover fluorine from excess bath - an aluminium smelter waste product - for the production of hydrogen fluoride.

A proposed later-stage commercial plant will further agitate the hydrogen fluoride for production of aluminium fluoride - a high-value chemical needed for aluminium smelting.

Alcore struggled to achieve sufficient process mixing with the existing laboratory reactor, which in turn led to difficulties in achieving a high fluorine yield.

With the bath pilot batch reactor process mixing is enhanced, with process capacity ten times larger than the existing reactor.

Following engineering design by Alcore, the new part was ordered from an international supplier.

ABx Group managing director and chief executive officer Dr Mark Cooksey said commissioning the state-of-the-art reactor would be a major milestone in the development of the Alcore process.

"It will demonstrate that sufficient fluorine yield can be achieved using commercial reactor designs and process conditions," he said.

"This significantly increases confidence in the overall process scale-up and commercialisation."

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