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MEI Online: Pyrometallurgy: Latest News: October 28th 2008

 
 

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:: Global Meeting of Outotec's Copper and Nickel Flash Smelting licensees in China

The world's copper and nickel smelting experts meet this week in Shanghai, China at the 12th International Flash Smelting Congress organized by Outotec for the licensees of its Flash Smelting technology.

The Flash Smelting Congress is a users' meeting where the participants can learn about new smelter projects, capacity expansion and modernization projects, as well as new technologies and improvements, and they can exchange their start-up and other experiences. They also have the opportunity of visiting upgraded or new smelters. Outotec organizes Flash Smelting congresses for its licensees every three years.

The 12th International Flash Smelting Congress, held during on 26-31 October 2008 in China, has 110 participants from 20 countries. The key topic of the week-long Congress is Smart Smelting, whereas other topics to be discussed are environmental control, Flash Smelting safety and integrity, process control and utilization of on-line measurements. In addition to technical papers, the program includes visits to three Chinese smelters: Jinlong Copper Company's upgraded copper smelter in Jinlong, Jiangxi Copper Corporation's new Flash Smelting line in Guixi and Xiangguang Copper Co's new Flash Smelting - Flash Converting plant in Yanggu.

"Today's high energy prices together with increasing environmental awareness require smart smelting methods. Innovation has been Outotec's driving force throughout its history. The Flash Smelting process, the cleanest smelting method in the world, is an excellent example of our innovativeness and technological leadership", said Tapani Järvinen, CEO of Outotec, in his opening speech and continued: "The Flash Smelters are environmentally sound, energy-efficient and cost-effective, as we can see when visiting the Chinese smelters. The Yanggu copper smelter and sulfuric acid plant designed by Outotec represents the latest technology in terms of environmental safety."

Originally Outotec's former parent company Outokumpu developed the Flash Smelting technology for its own use. In 1949 Outokumpu introduced autogenous Flash Smelting of copper concentrates at their facility in Harjavalta, Finland. The technology has been continuously developed to meet the industry needs. After the spin-off of Outokumpu Technology from Outokumpu Group in 2006 and the name change of the company to Outotec in April 2007, the Flash Smelting Process became part of a wide range of proprietary technologies owned and marketed by Outotec.

Today the renowned Flash Smelting technology is used all over the world, thanks to its efficiency, versatility and environmental benefits. The process has become a primary means of copper and nickel production and the standard for smelting activities throughout the world. Half of the world's sulfide ore based primary copper and nickel is produced by the Flash Smelting process.

Outotec's Flash Smelting is a process in which dried metal sulfide concentrates are blown with oxygen or oxygen-rich air into a hot furnace so that the particles react rapidly with the oxygen to generate heat needed to melt the products, partially (controlled) oxidizing the concentrates and producing a molten matte phase containing the metal values, which will be further processed, and a molten slag.

The historical importance of the Flash Smelting technology lies in its economic impact on the materials world and its impressive impact on the global environment. Outotec's Flash Smelting technology has been named by European Union as the Best Available Technique (BAT) that achieves the best environmental standards in industrial production.

In China there are four smelters using Outotec Flash Smelting Process:

  • Xiangguang Copper Co., copper smelting and converting plant in Yanggu, commissioned in 2007
  • Jiangxi Copper Corporation, copper smelter in Guixi, first built in 1982, the second line commissioned in 2007
  • Jinlong Copper Co., copper smelter in Tongling commissioned in 1997,
  • Jinchuan Non-ferrous Metals Co., nickel smelter in Jinchang, commissioned in 1992.

 

 

   

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