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MEI Online: Solid-Liquid Separation: Latest News: October 4th 2004


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:: Lasta Filter Press to Platinum Plant

The first Ishigaki Lasta filter press to be supplied to the local platinum industry has been installed at Lonmin’s Smelter operations, and forms part of the plant extension project at this mine.

The Lasta filter press, supplied, installed and commissioned by Seprotech, brings to three the number of filter presses at the Lonmin Smelter operations. The other two are tower presses unlike the Lasta unit which is a horizontal press. The 1500 x 1500 plate size Last filter press supplied to Lonmin has 50 chambers.

According to managing director, Horst Schulte, the primary difference between tower and horizontal filter presses is that the latter has individual cloths for each chamber, and this means that cloths can be replaced individually. This is not the case with a tower press which has one cloth which could be as long as 100 metres.

Schulte says that prior to making the decision to purchase the Lasta horizontal unit, engineers from Lonmin visited Palabora Mining Company to view a similar press in application.

“While the configuration of the Lasta press differs depending on the application requirements, the unit operating at PMC was a good example as the mine has to have a very clean product and it needs to be washed a couple of times," Schulte explains. “While the Lonmin Smelter operation does not need to wash its product, the visitors were able to view the efficiency of the Last filter press and verify its reliable operation and low maintenance costs with the engineers at PMC."

“What is important in both applications is the effective cloth washing system that is integrated into the filtration cycle. The cloth washing part of the cycle ensures that dry, consistent cakes are produced continually," Schulte says.

During filtration the solids accumulate to form a filter cake on the filter cloth. The liquid portion of the suspension permeates through the filter cloth and is recovered as a solid-free filtrate. The filter cloth and filter cake form a resistance against the flow, and as the filter cake increases in thickness and density, more pressure is required to overcome this resistance. At the high pressure and low flow condition, filtration is considered complete and the cakes are discharged quickly and easily by the traveling cloth.

Once the filter cake is formed inside the filter press, it is discharged quickly and easily. During this process spray nozzles wash each filter cloth ensuring effective filtration once the process begins again. All the process sequences are completely automated. The Lasta filter press can manage multiple filtration tasks and offers an excellent ratio between cost and performance.

Seprotech is a member of the Multotec Group of companies.




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