Peristaltic Pumps Ordered for Cobalt Purification
Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
Peristaltic pump specialist Verderflex has recently exported thirty of its VF hose pumps to Morocco. Manufactured in Leeds, these models continue to prove their ability to reduce downtime, minimise maintenance costs and ensure the reliable pumping of abrasive, corrosive, viscous and high density fluids.
The pumps were ordered to fulfil an essential role in the refining of cobalt. Although The Democratic Republic of The Congo is by far the largest producer of this non-metallurgical metal, Morocco is a significant supplier to Europe. It is widely used in the production of pigment for the ceramics and glass industries and rising demand has led to investment in new mines.
Principally the pumps are being used to transfer sulphuric acid and ammonia solutions from storage and dilution tanks to reactors and baths. These solutions are used in electrolysis, a process whereby the cobalt is rinsed to eliminate impurities and separate it from other ore components such as nickel, iron and arsenic.
Exact dosing of the sulphuric acid in accordance with the pH value of the mined cobalt is vital to ensure its purity and concentration. To achieve this, the capacity of the Verderflex pump is automatically adjusted by a frequency controller that is driven by a pH meter. The VF pump is ideal for such an application as the absence of product slip in the hose gives a 100% volumetric efficiency.
Other Verderflex units are being employed as feed pumps for centrifuges at Morocco’s cobalt mines. The process water that remains from the band filtration process results in a filter cake with residues. The fluids that are both acidic and abrasive are captured in collection basins. The VF peristaltic hose pumps feed centrifuges that remove fine powder from the process waste water.
The design features of the Verderflex VF pump makes it ideal for handling abrasive and highly corrosive products. The medium does not come into contact with any of the pump’s rotating parts and is totally contained within a robust, heavy-duty hose which consists of an inner layer, 2 – 6 reinforcement layers and an outer layer. Also as the hose is the only wearing part it can be rapidly exchanged to ensure minimum downtime.