Nornickel tests new copper production technology

Nornickel tests new copper production technology

February 25, 2022

The cause of increasing production efficiency can lie in bubbles.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The copper electrolysis shop (CES) of the Nornickel Polar Divisio’s copper plant is testing a new system for degassing the electrolyte entering the electrolysis baths. The business system development department specialists, together with the shop managers, made changes to the design of degassing tanks of electrolysis series and excluded pressure tanks from circulation systems.

The measures are aimed at reducing electrolyte aeration, accelerating electrochemical processes, improving the quality of products, and reducing financial costs for the purchase of expensive pressure tanks.

In a nutshell: the specialists changed the direction of the electrolyte supply to the degassing tanks. Instead of supplying natural pressure from above, it was decided to bring the electrolyte into the tank from the side.

Together with the operation of special devices, this prevents the excessive appearance of bubbles in the solution (aeration), which in turn reduces the surface defects on copper cathodes.

At the moment, all the necessary schemes have been developed and preparations are underway for the project implementation.

This is the copper plant’s second project to improve production efficiency. The lion’s share of the project team’s ideas are aimed at improving product quality or saving energy.

The developers are counting on a certain effect from the innovation, but they are in no hurry to share their forecasts – they say that an experiment is an experiment, and it is reckless to draw conclusions in advance. In addition, if the new system is effective, it will need to be tested in industrial production on the scale of a whole process, and this is a completely different test procedure.

The plant workers, together with the business system development department team expect to present the results of their work in the second half of the year.

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Text: Denis Kozhevnikov, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko

February 25, 2022

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