The Benefits of Backup Pumps in Potash Processing

Millions upon millions of people around the world depend on faultless processing of potash in order to maintain a steady supply of potassium for fertilizers. Potash production continues to be one of Canada’s most valuable industries. Companies in Saskatchewan  account for around 1/3rd of global potash production and generate $1.6 billion in gross revenue each year.

Therefore, it is essential for companies processing potash to have back-up (inline spares)pumps. It is a liquid-intensive and pump-intensive industry. Even during maintenance, cleaning and mechanical breakdowns, processing and supply must be maintained.

Back-up Pumps Help With Plugged Potash Lines

It matters not if separation and processing of potash is done by solution mining or conventional underground mining  the processes of flotation, mechanical crystallization or natural crystallization, systems can plug and back-up pumps are vital.

Salt crystallization can cause potash processing lines to become plugged quickly. The integrity of the brine used in the processing depends on temperature – too cool and salt crystallizes. To cope with this, a company will often install backup pumps to allow brine and other fluids to continue being pumped ,recirculated and processed. This lets the maintenance team work on the plugged lines while production continues using the back-up pumps.

In addition, solids build up in processing lines that require pumping out or cleaning out. Back-up pumps will allow liquids to continue being transferred from stage to stage while solids are removed.

In both these situations, downtime will be reduced significantly, thus saving potentially millions of dollars per day.

Back-up Pumps Allow Maintenance to be Completed

Most potash plants and pumps are designed to withstand this exceptionally coarse material to some extent. Nonetheless, with processes like wet crushing of flotation tails and then scrubbing potash ore with saturated brine, all pumps and lines will degrade from the corrosion,abrasion , pressures and friction. Potash Plants require rigorous maintenance schedules to ensure optimum asset availability whether it is pumps or other rotating equipment. During maintenance on frontline pumps, back-up (inline spare) pumps are essential for re-routing the brine and other system fluids to ensure that operations continue unabated.

Back-up Pumps Support Safety

A back-up pump can mitigate many safety concerns. Not only a back-up pump, but also back-up processing lines. In the event of chemicals like sulfuric acid leaking from lines (or contaminating them), there is serious danger to the health and safety of everyone on site. Back-up systems can divert liquids and materials to prevent further problems and even maintain operations while clean-up is done.

With good back-up pumps, potash processing operations can keep costs manageable, keep systems running and eliminate many of the dangers involved in their work.

If you are not sure about the back-up pumping situation for your operation, call the experts because a solution is within reach at all times.

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