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:: Anglo Platinum Installs Pneumo-Drier
Anglo American Platinum Corp. Ltd has become the first company in the platinum industry to install a plant that simultaneously dries and conveys particulate solids. The system, which has been installed at Anglo Platinum's Rustenburg smelting complex, has a 96 t/h capacity. The order for the system was placed by Hatch Africa, acting as project managers, and comprises two separate trains, each feeding 48 t/h of material to the converter-slag and furnace-matte plants. Each train consists of two parallel Bateman Pneumo-Driers.
The driers use approximately 4 MW of installed power to reduce the moisture content of 96 t/h of platinum matte and slag from 15% to zero. Wet material from dewatering bins is discharged into the dryer through twin vertical-surge hoppers mounted on load cells which interlock with pneumatically-operated pinch-valves. This arrangement provides the necessary airlock between the system's positive pressure and ambient conditions. A vibrating-tube feeder batch-feeds the material through a feeding tee into the conveyor pipe, where it is dried in a stream of air at a temperature of 350oC while it is being transported to the knockout bin. The material is cooled as it falls into the knock out bin by a large volume of low-velocity secondary (ambient) air. The latter is extracted from the bin into either a dust filtration system or a wet/dry-scrubber system. The dry material is pneumatically conveyed to the storage silos.
According to Bateman, Pneumo-Driers have been predominantly used in the diamond industry where they are used to handle kimberlite ore, alluvial diamond ore and marine silica sand. The system has also been used on other materials such as coal, foundry sands, salt and crushed rubber. Bateman says that the system offers capital cost, operating cost and reliability advantages over traditional rotary, infra-red and fluidised bed dryers, and adds that it can be easily retrofitted to existing installations.
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