The Situation

Advisian’s client was suffering production losses at their alumina refinery periodically due to a lack of boiler feed water associated with insufficient return of digestion live steam condensate.  

Scope

Advisian was engaged to examine this issue and propose a safe, cost effective solution.

Our Solution

 

Advisian identified the major cause of live steam losses to be the poor heat recovery in the thick bauxite slurry heaters. 

Deficiencies in the quality and frequency of slurry heater cleaning were identified, along with a solution to improve the robustness of the operation of the heaters. A suite of initiatives were recommended to enable sustainable operation at the site benchmark performance. The majority of the USD $3M per annum benefits were due to energy savings through improved heat transfer addressing a more significant issue than the production losses originally targeted.

Additionally, Advisian identified improvements to the original slurry heater design and recommended a novel heat recovery solution with the potential to unlock a further USD $7M per annum of energy savings.