A new approach to aqueous coalescing

Paul Boughton

The general concept of a new coalescer technology is pre-treatment of organic in Solvent Extraction (SX) Plants for hydrometallurgy applications. Removing organic (liquid ion exchange + diluent) from a strong copper electrolyte solution, for example, decreases the levels of entrained organic and also coalesces the residual organic for recovery improvements in the electrolyte filters.
Since it is crucial that each solvent extraction plant consider electrolyte filters in the removal of the entrained organic from the principal stream, the design of the new Aqualescer, or 'tank within a tank', offers an elegant solution. (Fig. 1). The technology can be used in new mining filter installations or as a stand-alone coalescer; it can apply to all hydrometallurgy markets and applications in oil fields, especially for desulfurization of diesel.
This low cost solution was developed by SpinTek to provide improved coalescence by adding pressurised air in the inlet feed line, increasing efficiencies. The efficient removal of entrained organic from aqueous streams minimises plant operating costs and maximises electrolyte quality. The unique Aqualescer process controls flow problems due to operational conditions by delivering a homogeneous flow.
There are no similar technologies in the marketplace; the system is unique - a low cost method of entrained organic removal either as a stand-alone system on raffinate or a pre-treatment to solvent extraction polishing filters on electrolyte.

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SpinTek Filtration Inc, Los Alamitos, CA, USA. www.spintek.com

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