Worley Wins Big with New Contract for Chemetics Sulfuric Acid Technology

  • 14-Apr-2023
  • Journalist: Jaideep

Australia: Chemetics, a provider of sulfuric acid technology and solutions for specialty chemical facilities, has secured a contract from Arafura Rare Earths Ltd. to install its CORE-SO2 technology at the Nolans Project in Australia. The greenfield mine, located 135 km north of Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory, is expected to extract and process neodymium and praseodymium for use in creating ultra-strong permanent magnets used in household electronics and high-performance motors for electric vehicles.

Chemetics will be responsible for providing detailed engineering and supplying the CORE-SO2 technology for the site’s sulfuric acid plant, as well as the associated oxygen plant.

A new sulfuric acid plant is set to lead the way in sustainability. Unlike comparable plants, it has the unique ability to idle while keeping the catalyst warm for long periods of time and boasts impressive turnaround capability. With 95 percent reduced sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, when compared to traditional double contact double absorption (DCDA) plants, it represents a significant improvement in sustainability.

Another plus point of the plant is that its high-pressure steam production within the CORE-SO2 process will reduce greenhouse gas emissions further, enabling the production of CO2-free electrical power. This means that a diesel or natural gas start-up burner will no longer be necessary.

Arafura Rare Earths is excited to collaborate with Chemetics Inc, a global leader in providing efficient, robustly engineered, and low-emission sulfuric acid technology. The CORE-SO2 plant developed by Chemetics Inc is 60% smaller than conventional sulfuric acid plants, offering significant construction benefits.

The plant will require fewer equipment pieces, which will increase the use of modularization, translating into safer and more cost-effective project delivery for the remote mine site. This sulfuric acid plant is a crucial component in achieving the sustainability goals of the Nolans Project.

In line with Arafura's objective to become a dependable global front-runner and provider of eco-friendly extracted and treated rare earth materials, this endeavour will play a significant role. As the plant continues to operate yearly, over 700 metric tons of SO2 will be transformed into functional sulfuric acid instead of being released into the environment.

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