none

MOLTEN SALT TECHNOLOGY TO REDUCE INDUSTRY COSTS

23-06-2016
by 
in 
University of South Australia Associate Professor Frank Bruno.

Molten salt technology is being developed for use in mineral processing in the mining industry to reduce energy and water costs.

The University of South Australia has formed a collaborative research funding partnership with Centrex Metals Limited in a bid to use the cutting-edge technology to significantly reduce energy and water usage, and therefore the cost of mineral processing using molten salts.

The research, based around the Oxley Potassium Project in Western Australia and undertaken by UniSA’s School of Engineering and Future Industries Institute, will expand current molten salt research for solar energy applications into minerals processing with a view to maximising successful technology development and commercialisation.

The research program, led by University of South Australia Associate Research Professor Frank Bruno, will develop a minerals processing circuit to leach, extract and purify metals from silicate minerals in a solely molten salt environment, without the need for subsequent aqueous processing.

If the research successfully provides the ability for all processing steps to be undertaken in a molten salt environment it will significantly lower energy and water use and the associated costs.

South Australian company Centrex Metals Limited will use the technology at its Oxley Potash Project to become the first commercial and cost competitive manufacturer of bulk potassium chloride fertiliser from potassium feldspar ore.

The Oxley project is located in the Midwest of Western Australia about 125km southeast of the port of Geraldton. The project is a very rare 32km long shallow dipping and outcropping potash feldspar rich lava flow.

Centrex Minerals CEO Ben Hammond said the technology would take advantage of the unique liquid properties of molten salt to not only convert metals within silicate ore to an extractable form, but also separate and purify them, saving energy, water and reducing the overall project footprint.

“It will allow us to look at competing in the bulk fertiliser space for our globally unique large scale potassium feldspar deposit at Oxley, creating more long-term jobs in Australia’s currently struggling mining industry,” Hammond said.

Molten salt technology has previously been used in the solar and nuclear energy industries at temperatures up to 600C, including the 110MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Nevada.

The University of South Australia project will use salts at temperatures from 850C and above for the first time.

Assoc Prof Bruno said the research could have broader implications for mineral refinement in the mining industry and provide valuable insights for its further development in the solar and nuclear industries.

Story sourced from The South Australian Lead

Related news & editorials

  1. 05.08.2021
    05.08.2021
    by      In
    New Swisslog white paper discusses how micro-fulfillment can synergize online and storefront.
    Global warehouse and logistics automation leader, Swisslog, is introducing a new white paper on micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs), which focuses on how to utilize automation to maximize efficiency and... Read More
  2. 05.08.2021
    05.08.2021
    by      In
    With various restrictions still in place around the country, the Australian Made Campaign is calling on all Aussies to remember the people behind their purchases and show their continued support for Aussie manufacturers and growers by looking for the green and gold kangaroo logo.
    Australian Made... Read More
  3. 05.08.2021
    05.08.2021
    by      In
    A new range of the Hyster® UT Series is being introduced to Australasia and the Asia-Pacific, to provide enhanced driver comfort and a low total cost of ownership for the forklift operator.
    The new H4.0-5.0UT internal combustion counterbalance pneumatic tyre forklifts, with lift capacities from 4,... Read More
  4. 02.08.2021
    02.08.2021
    by      In
    Konecranes has further enhanced its commitment to cybersecurity and the protection of its customer’s data through achieving ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification for information security management.
    The globally recognised ISO/IEC 27001 certificate demonstrates a commitment to proactively manage the... Read More
Products
Suppliers