Read up on the massive powder handling and blending plant recently completed in the Philippines - Find out more.
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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Albemarle Lithium has awarded Pneuvay Engineering the contract to provide the vacuum conveying system at the Kemerton lithium processing plant in Western Australia. Pneuvay will design, manufacture and supply the system for the production trains from its new factory based at Tullamarine in Victoria.

The Kemerton facility is near Bunbury and, once fully built, will be one of the largest lithium processing plants in Western Australia.

Industry experience and expert design

The expert design of the vacuum conveying system was pivotal in Pneuvay Engineering's team securing the business. Their extensive experience in supplying pneumatic conveying systems to major mining sites and mineral production plants was invaluable in designing the solution. The system will be delivered in stages. Pneuvay is well placed to participate in providing the vacuum conveying system for any future production trains.

Pneuvay Engineering has provided various pneumatic conveying systems to the mining industry, from the Pilbara in Western Australia to Queensland and South Australia. Our equipment has proven to be extremely reliable and durable, even under the most challenging conditions. We are an industry leader designing, manufacturing and installing systems for major mining companies such as BHP, Rio Tinto, Sibelco and Xstrata.

The construction of facilities such as the Kemerton plant, which converts lithium ore into lithium hydroxide, meets the growing demand from battery manufacturers.

"We are excited to be involved in the project. The demand for lithium for batteries is growing worldwide," stated Paul Malcolm, Pneuvay Engineering's General Manager of Sales and Engineering.

Pneuvay to provide vacuum conveying system forAlbemarle Lithium at Kemerton lithium plant

Pneuvay to provide vacuum conveying system for
Albemarle Lithium at Kemerton lithium plant

Interesting facts on conveying and lithium hydroxide

How does vacuum conveying work

Granular and powder materials are generally conveyed using pressurised or moving air (pneumatic conveying). For vacuum conveying, fans or exhausters are used to form negative pressure in the system. The material is then fed into the system with rotary valve airlocks or screw feeder. The vacuum created transports the material through the system to a receiving vessel.

Vacuum conveying provides a low to moderate conveying rate and distance. They are generally used when transport over short distances is required and there are relatively low demands on capacity. This conveying method is most suitable for transporting materials that have a tendency to pack or compress under pressure.

What is lithium hydroxide?

Lithium hydroxide is an inorganic compound that has a white crystalline solid structure. It contains lithium and hydroxide ions and has the formula LiOH. It can be anhydrous (without water molecules attached) or in a hydrated form.

Lithium hydroxide dissolves in water to make a basic solution and can be reacted with acids to make lithium salts. As with other alkali metal hydroxides, it is corrosive.

Lithium hydroxide is made when calcium hydroxide is reacted with lithium carbonate. The reaction makes a lithium hydroxide solution and calcium carbonate solid. Alternatively, lithium hydroxide can be produced by reacting lithium or lithium oxide with water.

How is lithium hydroxide used?

Lithium hydroxide has for some time been utilised in specialised equipment, such as breathing air purification and rebreathers systems. It would scrub carbon dioxide from exhaled air by reacting with it, to produce lithium carbonate and water. Lithium hydroxide is also used in ceramics, and as a catalyst for polymerisation.

In recent times, however, the demand of lithium hydroxide has dramatically increased due to the proliferation of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in products such as:

  • Smart phones, tablets and laptops
  • Rechargeable power tools
  • Electric bikes and cars

Lithium-ion batteries typically have twice the energy density of others and need very little maintenance. They do not need periodic discharging or suffer from a memory effect. These batteries do not require much priming when new and have a relatively small self-discharge rate. They are the only rechargeable battery that can provide very high current required for devices such as power tools.

Contact us for assistance

Pneuvay is the market leader for Australia in the manufacture of vacuum conveying systems. We build vacuum conveying systems for large processing plants and are renowned for providing best fit solutions.

If you have any questions in relation to vacuum conveying systems, feel free to call us on 1300721458 or send us a message via our Pneuvay website contact page or Pneuvay Facebook page.

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Read up on the massive powder handling and blending plant recently completed in the Philippines

Pneuvay is delighted to present this case study on this powder handling and blending plant recently completed in the Philippines by our engineering group (Pneu Powder Systems).

This enormous system integration project for Doxo Ingredients was designed and built by our group in twelve months.
Read on for more.