Hydrometallurgical design projects for educational purposes

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 79, No. 891, 1986

J.G. EACOTT Consultant, Graham Eacott & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, J.W. SMITH and D.H. NAPIER, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry,University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario

Three hydrometallurgical processes (Noranda chloride leach, B.C. Research biological leach and Sherritt-Cominco activated oxygen leach) and the Noranda pyrometallurgical process have served as the basis for design projects in the final year of the chemical engineering program at the University of Toronto. Each member of a team of five or six students devotes about 200 hours to the project and the final report is expected to include an economic analysis. None of the processes has been developed to full-scale plant, nor, in the case of the B. C. Research and Noranda processes, were pilot plant data available. Nevertheless, the designs developed provide a useful basis for a preliminary estimate of capital and operating costs and for a preliminary assessment of project feasibility. This paper discusses the approach used in the design projects with respect to engineering and economic aspects, and outlines the educational features and benefits of such a program as well as some of the problem areas that arise.
Keywords: Metallurgical education, Hydrometallurgical processes, Design projects, Noranda chloride leach process, B.C. Research biological leach process, Sherritt-Cominco activated oxygen leach process.