A common operational challenge associated with solvent extraction plants is the effective on-line management of solids introduced from a variety of sources. Solids in SX settlers and EW cells cause operational problems that impact on plant availability and reduce name-plate design capacity.
Most competitor SX settler crud and bottom solids removal systems are limited in their effectiveness to handle high total suspended solids influx into SX circuits, and operations are often forced to take the impacted settlers off-line for complete removal of contained solids. These cleaning operations are often hazardous, high risk, labour intensive and costly in terms of production down-time and organic reagent loss.
The Crud Forx™ is a solids removal system specifically designed for the on-line removal of entrained interface and bottom solids associated with hydrometallurgical SX processes.
The Crud Forx™ system can be used on-line, eliminating the need to interrupt production. The Crud Forx™ has proved to be especially effective for bottom solids accumulated in SX settlers. Plants using the system have enjoyed prolonged periods of operation without the need to drain settlers for cleaning, even during major crud-runs as a result of poor up-stream solid/liquid separation.
The Crud Forx™ system consists of a multi-piped slurry suction head, which is partially or fully immersed. The slurry suction head can either be connected directly to a removable flexible hose coupling, or to one or more modular lengths of rigid transfer piping. This allows the system to be adapted for most applications in SX settlers and can be readily tailored to client-specific requirements. The Crud Forx™ and accessories are available in a variety of materials of construction, suitable for use in most hydrometallurgy environments.
The Crud Forx™ uses a unique combination of “air lift” and “back-pulsation” technology that only requires low pressure compressed air infrastructure for operation. This makes the units inexpensive to install and operate, and intrinsically safe for use in SX applications. The Crud Forx™ technology ensures that solids removal and solids mobilization is extended beyond the immediate deployment zone of the Crud Forx™.
The correct operation of the Crud Forx™ system ensures minimal organic loss, since the solids are removed from below the organic-aqueous interface in the SX settler. Solids are removed in high density slurry. Downstream crud treatment operations are reduced.