Products & Applications

PolyMet Solutions
Solutions in pyrometallurgical
metal production

Each metal processing method requires its own production unit. The type mainly depends on the plant history, local conditions, available raw material energy source, and many other factors. The table below summarizes some of the available technologies and PolyMet Solutions range of expertise in this field.

Whatever you require – whether primary or secondary production lines – we supply the right engineering solutions, units, and designs for everything from single machines up to full lines.

Primary smelters

Polysmelt – efficient concentrate smelting

Available now from PolyMet Solutions is our improved primary smelter for non-ferrous metals. Basically, PolyMet Solutions takes existing reactors as a basis and introduces innovative changes that improve the efficiency, operation, and lifetime.

Main benefits

  • High-speed burner provides better turbulence for rapid
    reactions in the reactor
  • ILTEC cooled permanent side wall for safe operation
  • Improved side wall cooling and lining design minimizes
    hearth and sidewall wear
  • Purging system for minimized copper content in slag
Image - Polysmelt

Other solutions in primary concentrate smelting

PolyMet Solutions focuses on optimizing existing units such as:
TSL furnaces, Teniente, Noranda, Kivcet, Mitsubishi, Vanyukov, QSL

Here are the optimizations available

  • Improved cooling and refractory designs for the slag area, for longer lifetime
  • Better lance systems (ILTEC Technology)
  • Cooled tuyere zone for Noranda and Teniente reactors
  • Definition of the process and improved automation system
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PolyConvert

New standard in Converting

POLYCONVERT is the logical next step in converting – a new solution that implements improvements using the conventional Peirce Smith converter. This reactor type is still the most widely applied process for producing blister copper. It’s also common in nickel and PGM production process lines.

Conversion takes place during the slag blowing stage as well as in separate final converting phases. Now, PolyMet Solutions adds features that in particular improve the process efficiency and availability of the vessel, plus ensuring a longer service life.

Added features
  • Better lining in the tuyere, mouth, and off-gas offtake areas
  • ILTEC cooling of the under-bath tuyeres for significantly longer lifetime – higher productivity
  • High-pressure tuyeres with higher oxygen levels
  • Less offgas for smaller gas treatment plants
  • Lower OPEX
  • Optimized automation

Electric furnaces

SMS is the leading supplier of both
electric-arc and submerged arc
furnaces

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It all started when we installed the first units more than 100 years ago. Electric arc furnaces are mainly used in steel production, either as DC or AC types.

Submerged-arc furnaces as well as electric smelters are typical plants for ferroalloys, silicon metal, and non-ferrous metals.

Primarily, electric slag cleaning furnaces are used in the nickel, copper, and PGM industries to recover precious metals from slag. This began in the 1950s when SMS installed its first units. They are so successful that SMS has supplied more than 40 units to date. Depending on the slag properties, rectangular or circular solutions are possible. PolyMet Solutions is also involved in lining optimization.

Advantages

  • Outstanding reference track record for rectangular and circular furnaces
  • Highest precious metal recovery rate
  • Best available electrode column system with either prebaked or Soederberg electrodes
  • Low investment and operational costs
  • Refractory lining optimized by PolyMet Solutions
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Fire refining

Anode furnaces represent the
predominant technology for
converting blister copper into
anode copper

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Featured here are vessels in the form of a horizontal cylinder that rotates in both directions. There have been important improvements over recent years, especially in vessel operation and purging methods. Furthermore, better lining in the plug and mouth areas were developed.

It’s an added advantage for you that the design of the charging mouth and off-gas outlet reduces process fugitive gases that would otherwise pollute your furnace building.

Features

  • Better lining in the tuyere, mouth, and off-gas off-take areas maximize lining lifetime
  • Better processes (logistics, sequencing, etc.)
  • Optimized purging operation through operator training sessions
  • Advanced automation and process control
  • Faster process time
  • Less fuel and more productivity

Top blow rotating converters

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Developed in the 1930s, TBRC (top blown rotating converters) smelt and convert various primary and secondary raw materials to extract Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, Sn, and precious metals. Furthermore, especially in recycling, this type of converter is ideal for smelting E-waste. The batch process takes place in a rotating vessel. Next comes heating and converting by a central burner and a central cooled lance. It says a lot about our quality standards that SMS has supplied more than 40 of these units over the past decades.

Process guarantees

  • High rotating speed of up to 20 rpm
  • Multiple lance and burner system for better process efficiency
  • Intelligent refractory lining design
  • Mechanically robust vessel
  • Optionally available exchange vessels

Reverb & holding furnaces

These reverb furnaces are used for melting copper, lead, bronze, and other metals. Melting and casting furnaces for primary and secondary production phases of copper and other metals:

  • Stationary or tiltable solutions
  • Furnace capacity > 350 t
  • Robust design
  • Optimized lining
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Casting/Granulation

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Anode casting wheels

You can rely on anode casting wheels from SMS for high availability and dependable operation. Easy operation and maintenance together with low process costs form the basis for cost-effective, high-quality anode production. Here is how you benefit:

  • Narrow weight tolerances of the anodes
  • Lower process costs thanks to dynamic control of the mold temperature
  • Robust technology – durable and with minimum maintenance
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Metal granulation systems

Impact-disc granulation is Paul Wurth’s new solidification process for producing easy-to-handle and easy-to-melt metal granulate. Paul Wurth is a member of the SMS group.

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Slag granulation systems

Today, Paul Wurth is the leading supplier of slag granulation systems. You can expect the best available technology, fully automated wet granulation with INBA dewatering, and effective steam condensation. All this ensures reliable, flexible slag handling and production of slag sand.

Electrolysis

Mettop BRX-Technology

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To improve the productivity of a copper tankhouse, it’s necessary to boost the current efficiency and/or current density. Together with Montanwerke Brixlegg AG, Mettop has developed a parallel flow device (PFD) which introduces the fresh electrolyte between each pair of electrodes. Specifically, the device directs the fresh electrolyte in an upward flow over the surface of the cathode. This enhances the existing flow from natural convection.

As a result, METTOP-BRX Technology does not affect the settlement of the anode slime. You always get the right PFD to ensure optimum results from your individual tankhouse. Due to the improved flow pattern, this technology increases current density by up to 50%, even at a high current efficiency. Designed to be versatile, METTOP-BRX Technology is suitable for various metals. Today, the main application is copper production.

This principle has been applied since 2011 in China. Operations there prove that a current efficiency of more than 98% is realistic at a current density of 420 A/m2. Furthermore, the chemical and physical properties of the cathode are outstanding. Mettop supplies patented key equipment, while SMS contributes complementary components such as cranes, machinery and auxiliaries. That means we can supply complete tankhouses.

Your benefits

  • Much smaller tankhouse footprint compared to a conventional system
  • Decreased CAPEX and OPEX
  • Lower inventory costs (by as much as EUR 50 million compared to a 400,000 t tankhouse with high current density technology)
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Leaching

Solutions in leaching

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Reserves of high-grade ores are finite, and their future availability is critical. It’s increasingly important to extract these metals from low-grade ores using hydrometallurgical processes.

SMS Siemag Process Technology GmbH, a member of the SMS group, draws on in-depth expertise in HCl-based hydrometallurgy as well as acid recovery for the metal industry. Our hydrometallurgical leaching laboratory in Vienna defines potential processing routes.

Applications

  • Ni and Co from laterites instead of sulfides
  • Ti and V from titanomagnetites
  • Al from kaolin and fly ash
  • Rare earth metals from bauxite or red mud
  • Zinc from EAF dust
  • Au and Cu from urban mining and more

Contact

SMSgroup Degel,Dr.-Ing. Rolf

Dr.-Ing. Rolf Degel

PolyMet Solutions GmbH
Board
Eduard-Schloemann-Strasse 4
40237 Düsseldorf
Germany

Phone : +49 151 1453 3688
Fax : +49 211 881 776372

SMSgroup Filzwieser,Dr. Andreas

Dr. Andreas Filzwieser

PolyMet Solutions GmbH
CEO
Peter-Tunner-Strasse 4
8700 Leoben
Austria

Phone : +43 664 8860 4540
Fax : +43 3842 81 7 87 - 8