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The advantages of using peristaltic pumps for pumping slurries

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article image Peristaltic hose pump for pumping slurries
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Global Pumps is a major supplier of pumps and pumping systems sourced from across the world.

Specialising in peristaltic hose pumps, Global Pumps delivers complete solutions for customers located throughout Australia and New Zealand, including a technical service division that performs onsite installations and servicing.

Peristaltic hose pumps are designed to deliver several advantages in slurry pumping applications, including significant water and power savings, space efficiency, reduced pollution, damage and chemical use as well as lower maintenance costs and downtime.

Save Water

Traditional centrifugal slurry pumps lose efficiency when the specific gravity of the slurry reaches about 1.3 (30% solid content), placing a significant demand in terms of process water on the pump. Peristaltic hose pumps can however, process slurries with specific gravities of 1.6 - 1.8 (80% solids), using much less water per ton of ore than slurry pumps. 

Replacing each centrifugal slurry pump with a peristaltic hose pump translates into water savings of over 1,000 million litres (assuming the plant processes 70 tons of ore per hour) because peristaltic pumps require only 33% of the process water used by centrifugal slurry pumps for the same duty. 

Save Power

Peristaltic hose pumps also use less energy. For instance, in a similar scenario, a Verderflex VF125 peristaltic hose pump operated at full flow on thickener underflow duty uses about 20kW, whereas a typical slurry pump would require 45kW, resulting in more than 50% electricity savings. 

The energy saving not only significantly reduces the demand for operating power translating into direct savings, but also reduces or eliminates concerns over power rationing and reduces development costs for importing power. Additionally, any potential environmental impact is nullified or minimised since there is a reduced need to develop the infrastructure to support importing power. 

Save Space

The ability of peristaltic hose pumps to pump fluids with higher solid content can reduce the number of post thickener filter stages, leading to a smaller physical plant footprint. This also reduces initial capital investment and creates the potential to save on reduced operating costs.

Reduce Pollution

Environmental impact is a key concern of mining operations, especially where cyanide is used in mineral recovery. Cyanide pollutes land around the plant leading to contaminated water supplies. Progressive cavity pumps that are typically used for dosing of cyanide have seals, which expose them to leakages. Peristaltic hose pumps are seal-less and therefore have a lower risk of contamination. 

Reduce Damage and Chemical use

New processes for precious metal recovery using live cell cultures to free gold from sulphide ores will significantly benefit from the gentle pumping action of a peristaltic hose pump, improving yields and reducing the use of cyanide. Additionally, the peristaltic pump’s low shear stress helps to maintain particle size, reducing the need for additives to prevent flocculation. 

Peristaltic hose pumps also eliminate the need for post processing to remove additives while the reduced use of extra chemical additives results in decreased waste and/or waste processing. 

Save on Maintenance Costs and Reduce Downtime

Abrasive or corrosive slurries can damage traditional slurry pumps with impellers, requiring expensive and frequent replacement. Only the hose is in contact with the process fluid in peristaltic hose pumps, requiring only the hose to be replaced. Moreover, modern elastomer lined hoses increase the service life of pumps; the hoses can also be replaced in situ, resulting in a similar reduction in downtime for service. The elastomers used in the hoses have been proven in the mining industry to withstand the corrosive/abrasive qualities of the typical slurry.

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