Experimental Production Department

 

The head of the Experimental Production Department –Lexin M.Y.  Lexin graduated from the Kazakhstan Politechnical Institute (major-  mineral processing). Prior to work at the Institute of High Technologies (IHT), Lexin worked at “Kazmekhanobr” as a senior research specialist. From 2002 to 2008, he worked as a technical director at the mining and processing company “Ognevka”. From 2009 to 2011 worked at the IHT as a Senior technologist in the Department of experimental design work. In 2011, Lexin was appointed head of the Experimental Production Department.

 

 

Experimental Production Department was established in 2012 on the basis of the experimental technological site. The major activities of the Department include pilot tests of new technologies, materials, and equipment in semi-industrial conditions, close to the conditions at the enterprises of JSC “NAC “Kazatomprom”.

The experimental technological site was established in 2010 at the “Uvanas” field of “Stepnoy” mining plant administration and consists of the divisions of sorption, elution, denitration, and deposition. To perform the tests, a laboratory and reagent storage was established at the site.   

Tests of innovative technologies to intensify the processes of sorption, desorption and additional saturation using ultrasonic cavitation effects and ultra-jet activation have been conducted by the Department. Technologies tested at the site prove to be highly effective. Authenticated technologies are now ready to be implemented.

 

Objectives:

  • Development and implementation of the new energy-saving technologies and technical solutions aimed at intensification and optimization of the processes of sorption, desorption, denitration, and deposition  at the enterprises of the JSC “NAC “Kazatomprom”;
  • Pilot tests of the new materials and equipment;
  • Technical support of the implementation of new materials and equipment;
  • Testing of new technologies and technical solutions developed for JSC “NAC “Kazatomprom”; 
  • Development of technical and methodological documentation (technological requirements, manuals, etc.) ;
  • Development and implementation of mobile complexes aimed at extracting uranium at smaller deposits and remote fields, where construction of the processing plant would not be profitable.

The following technologies and devices were developed:

The Department is involved in the following activities:

  • Pilot-scale testing of ultrasonic influence on ion exchange;
  • Site testing of uranium deposition regimes using cavitation ultra-jet activation and new organic coagulants;
  • Testing of technological modes of iron removal technology from strippants;
  • Participation in manufacturing and assembly of the mobile complex.

Patent applications have been submitted for all developed technologies;

The positive feedback was received on the ion-exchange method using ultrasonic treatment and ultra-jet cavitation activation.

Project development

Ultra-jet activation of eluate directed to resaturation
The developed technology allows:
- Increasing uranium content in the rich eluate by an average of 10-20%
- Reducing content of impurities in the rich eluate by 25-30%
- Reducing iron content in the rich eluate by 20-25%
- Reducing the cost of obtaining high-quality marketable products
The positive effect is achieved by supplying activated eluate into the resaturation zone in the sorption-elution column through pressure fluctuations with a frequency of 285-300 fluctuations per minute. 

The use of the pulser pump driven by compressed air allows not to interrupt the cycle times of the sorption-elution column and create fluctuations of rich eluate in a zone of additional saturation with its subsequent circulation through an activator. This activation technology is applicable in conventional columns of the D-200 type used for the final saturation. 

Micro-intensive method of exposure to sulfuric acid before using it for ISL of uranium
Method of micro-intensive exposure to acid is based on the use of sulfuric acid modified by ozone during the uranium ISL. The method is based on a special delivery device using ultrasound acid protonated ozone - oxidation catalyst and organic peracids.                        

This method allows to:

  • Increase O-R potential of leaching solutions by 350 - 550 MW;
  • Reduce the leaching rate of sulfuric acid by 25-30%;
  • Increase uranium content in production of solutions by 20-30%.

Process optimization for processing uranium productive solution using ultrasonic exposure
The technology of the intensification of ion exchange processes based on the use of a new generation of ultrasonic oscillators and generators. This technology allows to speed up and improve the efficiency of the processes of sorption, desorption, and denitration in the processing of productive solutions.             

The developed technology allows to:

  • Increase efficiency of the sorption on average by 30%;
  • Increase throughput capacity of sorption columns by 25-30%;
  • Reduce the use of ammonia nitrate on elution by 30-40 %

New device of the centrifugal type for capturing, deposition, and accumulation of chemical concentrate (yellowcake) from drains and thickeners

A new type of centrifugal machine allows to reduce the loss of the final product during the deposition and reduce humidity during the yellowcake filtering process.

The advantage of this device is in the extended exposure of the material in the reaction zone due to the return of the part of fine fraction of the deposited material. The centrifugal force field and excess pressure to the processes of crystallisation and deposition allow increasing size of the formed crystals, and reduce the moisture content of the resulting precipitate.
Application of the developed device will:
1. Reduce loss of yellow cake by 50-80%  at thickening and deposition;

2. Reduce the moisture content in yellow cake after filtration by 1.5-3.5%.

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