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August 27, 2018

Anglo American Platinum chooses WSA for cost-efficient environmental compliance

  • Anglo American Platinum has signed a contract for Topsoe’s world-leading Wet gas Sulfuric Acid (WSA) sulfur emissions control technology for their platinum smelter facility in Polokwane, South Africa.
  • The WSA technology ensures compliance with environmental regulations and offers a perfect match to the often challenging requirements of metallurgical smelters and roasters.
  • WSA is a proven and very cost-efficient technology to control sulfur emissions and produces commercial-grade sulfuric acid that can be sold.

The WSA plant is designed to drastically reduce emissions of SO2 from the platinum smelter from around 90,000 mg/Nm3 to less than 1,200 mg/Nm3. It will produce up to 148 tons per day of sulfuric acid.

Sulfur emissions control has become a business prerequisite in the South African smelter industry"Sulfur emissions control has become a business prerequisite in the South African smelter industry. We wanted a solution that would ensure environmental compliance now and in the foreseeable future as well as make a convincing business case. WSA ticked both fields," says Dr. Lloyd Nelson, Head of Smelting & Refining Technology, Metallurgy, Anglo American Platinum.

Newly enforced regulations in South Africa limit the emission of sulfur (SO2) and require sulfur-emitting facilities to install an abatement technology.

WSA is a leading sulfur emissions control technology for wet gas applications. Its recovery of process heat makes it extremely energy-efficient and consequently it uses no or very little support fuel. WSA does not produce any waste and requires only minimal cooling water. 

The WSA plant ordered by AAP will be the second in Africa. As governments and investors across the continent implement stricter environmental guidelines, the technology is expected to be adopted by many more African companies. Around the world, 160 WSA plants have been commissioned. Recently, the world's largest WSA plant with a production capacity of 300,000 tons of sulfuric acid per year was started up in Huizhou, China.

The contract covers basic engineering, license, proprietary equipment, catalyst, training, and supervision services. Hatch in South Africa have been selected by AAP for Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management (EPCM) and will be managing the completion of the project on behalf of AAP.

Haldor Topsoe sulfur removal process offering


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