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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Aluminium: Latest News: October 30th 2013


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:: New Foam Control Technology for Alumina Processing


Nalco Australia has released its new FoamGuard antifoam technology, which it says provides improvements in operating and cost efficiencies, as well as benefits for plant and operator safety.

Available for either hot-end or cold-end applications, and developed to prevent the formation and stabilisation of foam in the critical parts of the Bayer process circuit, the new antifoam technology complements the company’s proven trihydrate flocculant technology and is designed to avert the problem of foam before it occurs.

Extensive laboratory testing has indicated no detrimental side-effects on the Bayer process with the use of this compound, Nalco says.

“Evidence has shown that the application of antifoam assists trihydrate classification efficiency through reduced foam presence. Additionally, reduced foam on the surface of hydrate classification vessels means less fine hydrate lost to digestion."

Trials by the company have demonstrated that new antifoam disperses easily throughout the liquor and prevents any subsequent formation of foam.

“It is effective in reducing foaming across all areas of the process including precipitator trains, launders, hydrate classifiers, red mud washing circuits and residue disposal sites."

Nalco says the new compound offers improved flow control, a reduction in unwanted solids carryover in classification, improved temperature control, and the prevention of unwanted precipitation of contaminants, particularly in drying foam.

“It is low odour, low irritant and, unlike many other products used as antifoams, is not classified as a Dangerous Good," Nalco adds. “An improved viscosity makes it significantly easier to pump and provides for easy clean-up of any spills."




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