Autoclave HPAL is a challenging process requiring the toughest flow control solutions. Temperatures and pressures are extremely high, and acidic media and abrasive solids increase the wear and tear of the equipment. An optimal HPAL operation generally uses several different types of valves, such as slurry feed and discharge valves, pump isolation valves, depressurization valves, steam supply and steam drum isolation valves, as well as acid injection valves.
Valves and pumps for slurry feed
The conditions that valves and pumps face in the HPAL process require the highest possible resistance against corrosion and erosion as well as against deterioration caused by solids. Selecting the right material, seat and coating is vital in maintaining the sealing abilities of slurry feed valves.
Valves for acid feed
Controlling the acid feed is essential in the HPAL process. Valves must provide absolute isolation. If unstable situations occur, the valves and other process equipment in the acid feed line must be able to resist very high concentrations of acid.
Valves for depressurization
Autoclave processes are occasionally depressurized as a result of operational disturbances, emergency situations or maintenance. During depressurization, a vent line is used to reduce pressure and temperature inside the autoclave. Careful consideration of valve materials and coatings are among the top priorities when selecting the valves for this service.