World´s biggest plastic pump reduces impacts on environment and health around copper mine
10% of the world´s copper deposits are to be found in the Sambian copperbelt. 90% of exports is generated by copper. A big number of giant mines bringing up the semi-precious metal from depths deeper than 2200m. Since 2015 Munsch’s Mammut-sized plastic pumps are in service in the country’s larges copper mine.
During the melting process of the copper an enormous amount of SO2 (Sulfur Dioxid) is generated. These gases were emmited to the atmosphere for a very long time without proper treatment. This resulted in devastating consequences for people and environment around the mine.
Under big pressure of locals but also international publicity the Sambian government decided in 2013 to drastically reduce the emmissions of the copper smelter.
To treat such big amount of SO2 gases huge scrubber systems are required. Planning of these were handed to a Canadian engineering company, which designed a plant to reduce SO2 content by 95% and process it to sulfuric acid. To clean the gases, an acid shower is sprayed on the exhaust stream. This shower is generated by spray nozzles which are fed by pumps. Due to the enormous amount of SO2 the scrubber dimensions were much bigger than in other similar applications. When sprayed on the SO2 exhaust, the content of corosive and abbrasive ingredients in the circulated liquid increases continously. Under these conditions a plastic centrifugal pump made from abrasion resistant PE-UHMW material is the best solution. At this time the market did not provide a plastic pump for such big flow rates (appr. 3000m³/h)
It was a close relation between MUNSCH, the engineering company and the end-user when the development project was started. Next to the critical technical requirements, time was another big factor. The Sambian government set a tough deadline to reach clean air at the mine.
It was not even the abnormal high flow rate which was the biggest task in this project but especially the tough NPSHa conditions challenged the team of MUNSCH development.
Despite of these preconditions the project was a big success and team work of all MUNSCH departments. 7 Units of the MUNSCH Mega Mammut NPC 500-400-700 were developed from scratch and produced in an incredible 8 months time.
During performance test the pumps performed as calculated in the development stage and consequently the plant could start up as scheduled. The world´s biggest plastic pumps are operated since then in continous operation.
The robust and forgiving design has shown great results even under faulty operation. MUNSCH is proud of participating in the reduction of sulfur dioxid in the environment with its know-how.