Stolberg, Germany
Stolberg, Germany

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Esser K.,Berzelius Stolberg GmbH | Naas L.,Otto Junker GmbH | Schmitz W.,Otto Junker GmbH
World of Metallurgy - ERZMETALL | Year: 2015

BBH Stolberg is the biggest primary lead plant in Europe, and its products - lead, sulphuric acid and copper-lead-matte - also include silver obtained from the lead concentrate. In the lead refinery, the silver is separated from the lead bullion by the classic Parkes-Process via the addition of zinc, and the resulting product - the Parkes crust - was until recently processed further by the steps of liquation, distillation in retorts under ambient pressure, and cupellation in a classical hearth furnace. The product of the hearth furnace is a doré containing 99.7 % silver. In the autumn of 2010 it was decided to start planning for an increased production of doré and the project, representing an investment volume of EUR 24 million, was approved by ECOBAT in the spring of 2012. The separation of zinc is a key step from both the economic and technological perspective. The expensive zinc should be recycled as completely as possible in metallic form for use in the Parkes-Process; at the same time, the amount of zinc carried over into the subsequent cupellation process should be minimized as zinc may cause dross formation, silver losses and furnace scaling there. After a brief investigation, vacuum distillation was found to be the best available technology for recovering the zinc and two vacuum induction furnaces supplied by Otto Junker were installed in the new silver plant. Vacuum induction technology delivers the best results in terms of batch size, mass transfer time (or batch time), and optimum product purity. As a genuine first in vacuum distillation technology, a multi-frequency furnace was employed to provide optimum melting and distillation conditions through an adjustable bath movement.

Paulusch A.,TÜV SÜD | Ambroz H.,BERZELIUS Stolberg GmbH
World of Metallurgy - ERZMETALL | Year: 2014

With the introduction of an energy management system in accordance with ISO 50001, certified by TÜV Rheinland Cert GmbH, Berzelius Stolberg GmbH (BBH) was far ahead of the rest of the industry. And it has paid off for the company, which is located in Stolberg, Germany. Important milestones in the continuous improvement process have been established and the planning criteria that had been applied up to this point have been revised. Both measures have already shown positive effects in the operational results. The success is based on decades of experience with management systems. With issues such as quality assurance, environment, and work safety, the company's management team realized early on that individual unconnected projects and systems did not yield the desired results. The keywords are integration and responsibility, and not only for the management team but also for every employee.

In wastewater treatment of heavy metal containing fluids it is common practice to use soluble sulfides as precipitants. To run a stable system and ensure a complete reaction it is necessary to control the excess of sulfide continuously. There are diverse analytical methods to determine sulfide in aqueous solutions. Most of these techniques require a calibration or show a serious dependency on matrix effects. An argentometric precipitation titration is proved to be the best choice for the adverse ambience of high salts and solid containing fluids at an online analysis. The modular online System Metrohm ADI 2040 was tailored to the particular needs. The detection system is based on a combined platinum electrode with pH reference working in alkaline ammonia buffer. The system turns out to be unsusceptible to most matrix influences such as high concentrations of diverse anions and cat ions, flocking agents or up to a certain particle content. Below 3 mg/L the bigger part of results lies outside of ±20% of the reference value. The accuracy enhances with increasing concentration. Solutions up to 10 mg/L sulfide show good reproducibility and analytical results.

Ambroz H.,BERZELIUS Stolberg GmbH | Meurer U.,BERZELIUS Stolberg GmbH
European Metallurgical Conference, EMC 2013 | Year: 2013

In light of rising energy prices, it is important for any business to use its process energy as effectively as possible. Here, not only the direct costs of energy are in the focus, but also the legal constraints imposed by additional burdens. Also the possibilities to reduce the tax burden offered by the legislation will be tied to the introduction of an energy management system. In order to persist in the competition, it will be necessary for any business to control the energy performance comprehensively and improve it where possible. A prerequisite for this is the systematic identification of all energy-related data. With the introduction of an energy management system, it is possible to deal with this task systematically and comprehensively. Starting from the classic energy controlling, which focuses on the acquisition of consumption data of processes and machines, an energy management system according to ISO 50001 provides the ability to capture efficiency and savings potential of individual regions in the context of energy policy, energy targets and programs, as well as energy performance indicators to evaluate and implement them according to their priority. Due to the similar structure of the Standards ISO 14001 and ISO 50001, it is easy to extend an existing environmental management system to an energy management system. The environmental management system has to be added with the specifically required ISO 50001 standards, elements and procedures.

Esser K.,Berzelius Stolberg GmbH | Meurer U.,Berzelius Stolberg GmbH
European Metallurgical Conference, EMC 2013 | Year: 2013

Occupational hygiene in terms of lead contamination and the monitoring of blood lead levels among employees has always been a matter of concern in lead plants. Coming from constantly decreasing blood lead levels in the last decades, Berzelius Stolberg experienced stagnation in blood lead levels in 2010 and 2011 at a level of 20,0 μg/dl as a mean value for all employees at the plant. Although all employees individually have been below the legal limit of 40 μg/dl, Berzelius Stolberg decided to increase the effort in terms of occupational hygiene once again in order to reduce blood lead levels even more. Up to that moment, several procedures had been implemented to counsel and support operators with increased blood lead levels and many different technical devices had been installed in order to separate contaminated production areas from clean workshops, social rooms, and offices. For the new approach both, the behavior related measures as well as the technical measures have been systematically analyzed and improved. An additional and preventive coaching called LIBB (Lerninitiative Blutblei = learning initiative blood lead) was initiated from early 2012 on, where every employee in the plant from the managing director to the last newcomer on the shopfloor has been accompanied for several hours by a coach during his normal work. Sources of contamination have been explained and revealed in a feedback session using a checklist. In terms of technical hygiene new standards have been created to separate contaminated areas from clean areas, followed by an investment in order to implement these standards from late 2012 on. Since June 2012 the blood lead levels of the employees are again constantly decreasing.

Meurer U.,BERZELIUS Stolberg GmbH | Ambroz H.,BERZELIUS Stolberg GmbH
Pb Zn 2010 - Lead-Zinc 2010 Symposium, Held in Conjunction with COM 2010 | Year: 2010

The BERZELIUS Bleihütte (BBH), Stolberg operates a lead smelting plant based on the QSL process. Though already classified as a top process both ecologically and economically, this technology has been submitted to ongoing improvement. From 2004 up until today, the lead output has been boosted to 150,000 tons/year. In addition, productivity was increased by operating the furnace during a successful 4-year campaign. Moreover, the flexibility of the QSL process has been improved with respect to the tolerable sulfur content in the feed mix. In cooperation with BERZELIUS, the company Bayer Technology Services has developed the new BAYQIK process. It enables the SO2 content in the off-gas from the QSL reactor to be raised up to 18 % (vol.) while maintaining the gas stream constant at about 25,000 m3 n/h. A further asset is the new water treatment plant which in combination with a reversal osmosis unit saves water and protects the environment. These benefits and other energy savings are described in this paper.

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