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Thursday, 07 April 2016 00:00

Lhoist has expanded its range of process pumps to demonstrate benefits of high strength liquid lime to customers.

When Lhoist UK was looking for a high-tech delivery system to demonstrate its high strength liquid lime product, a lightweight yet robust pumping solution was sought. They opted for a high flow dosing/metering peristaltic pump unit. The company has since developed its field trial package to supply Neutralac SLS45 to new and existing customers with equipment tailored to specific needs.

Improving effluent treatment

Neutralac SLS45 high strength liquid lime from Lhoist UK, a quicklime and hydrated lime producer, is used in process plants requiring improvements in their effluent treatment procedures.
Manufactured in the UK using patented technology, Neutralac SLS45 contains 45% solids and is designed for treating acidic effluents of all types. It is optimised for rapid acid neutralisation and pH adjustment.
In many cases, the use of Neutralac SLS45 improves metal precipitation, flocculant stability, filter cake moisture content and porosity. It has also reduced the consumption of polymers and polyelectrolyte reagents in several effluent treatment plants. It is suitable for use in DAF plants, AD systems and treating acidic waste streams from the animal, food and dairy industries.

Safer to use
According to product manager Xavier Mear, Lhoist developed Neutralac to address the fact that lime is often seen as a low grade commodity.
“Neutralac is different,” he states. “It allows us to offer a viable operational and economic alternative to caustic soda in effluent treatment. Here, neutralising agents such as caustic soda and magnesium hydroxide are aggressive and can easily harm operators and damage plant, hence a comparable substitute is highly desirable. Neutralac is safer to use than caustic soda and other alkali alternatives, with equal or better performance.”
The Lhoist Group has operations throughout Europe and America, with a total headcount exceeding 7,000.  Around 100 are employed in the UK, at the quarry near Buxton and at a satellite site in Cumbria. Lhoist invests heavily in R&D, and Neutralac is amongst several products to make the transition from Laboratory to Production.
“We knew we couldn’t just sell it in bottles or IBCs and expect sales to take off,” explains Xavier. “In many cases, the existing plant is no longer functioning as well as expected. As a result, a lightweight yet robust pumping solution was sought so that comparisions could be made.”

Field trial equipment
Lhoist is able to supply the reagent to its customers with a field trial equipment package tailored to specific needs, covering storage and dosing solutions, and recent investment has facilitated improved operations for those sites where reagent dosing is less than 15l/hr.
“We selected a peristaltic pump because they offer the easiest and best way to pump suspensions around,” says Mear. “Neutralac is free flowing, but the pumps are often sited outdoors, exposed to the elements, so a robust design is favourable.”
The service and technology offered by Lhoist means that a company such as a metal finishing plant, for example, where strong acids are used to etch metals prior to planing, can now improve and upgrade its effluent treatment capabilities easily and cost effectively, in one small step.
Lhoist arrives on site with a ready-to-go system comprising Neutralac SLS45, pH control and delivery equipment, essentially supplying a small, pilot-scale effluent treatment plant.

Impressive performance
The dosing pumps offered for field trials of Neutralac vary in flow rates from 0 - 3,500 l/h, with automatic control facilitated by a pH meter. Run-times vary tremendously but, according to Mear, the impressive performance of the system often imparts a reluctance to change. As a result, the plant is retained, leading to ongoing use of Neutralac.
“The positive impact Neutralac has on a site’s effluent treatment procedure tends to be noted within the first couple of days of introducing it into the process. Coupled with the hassle-free installation of new processing equipment where necessary, many customers have asked for rigs to be left as a permanent installation,” says Mear.
“Moving from capital investment, which a site was originally contemplating, to a small monthly rental cost has been very attractive to our customers. Neutralac® can often be cheaper than the alkali that is currently used, and successfully address the site’s assessment criteria for ensuring legal allowance limits are not exceeded.”


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