Home > Nalco launches minerals processing foam control technology for alumina processing

Nalco launches minerals processing foam control technology for alumina processing

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Nalco Australia has introduced a new antifoam technology featuring several improvements in operating and cost efficiencies as well as benefits for plant and operator safety.

Nalco’s new FoamGuard technology is based on the company’s 20+ years of experience in supplying antifoam products to Bayer process operators, and is available for hot-end or cold-end applications.

Developed to prevent the formation and stabilisation of foam in critical parts of the Bayer process circuit, the new antifoam technology complements the company’s proven trihydrate flocculant technology and averts 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. 

Evidence shows 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 have demonstrated that the 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’s FoamGuard antifoam compounds offer a range of benefits including improved flow control, reduction in unwanted solids carryover in classification, improved temperature control by preventing an insulating foam layer on tanks, and the prevention of unwanted precipitation of contaminants, particularly in drying foam. Benefits are also seen in improved cost performance and ease of handling.

Site and laboratory trials also indicated optional cost/performance variants with the quantity of the compound used having a direct result on performance. Process operational performance can be maintained at lower cost or better performance can be achieved at a slightly higher cost.

The new FoamGuard technology also has benefits for operator safety and plant efficiency. Being low odour and low irritant, it is not classified as Dangerous Goods. An improved viscosity makes it significantly easier to pump and provides for easy clean-up of any spills. It also significantly reduces the safety hazards associated with airborne foam escaping from process vessels.

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