Industrial Processes

Modular Sodium Cyanide Process Plant

Australia, QLD
Lycopodium developed the plant design for a world-first, transportable, modular process plant that manufactures sodium cyanide (NaCN) on-site.

Synergen Met has produced a world-first, transportable, modular process plant that manufactures sodium cyanide (NaCN) at the mine site, thus revolutionising the supply process for one of the most critical, but dangerous, reagents used in the global mining industry.

The new process differs from previous cyanide producers by using nitrogen instead of ammonia as a source material.

Lycopodium’s involvement was through the development of the design of, initially, a 10 kW plant, then a 100 kW plant, starting from pilot plant data provided by Synergen Met. The plant was designed starting from a process simulation, using Aspen+ process simulation software, to:

  • Simulate the mixture of gases exiting the plasma arc, from a mixture of feed gas, consisting of nitrogen and a hydrocarbon gas
  • Absorb the HCN gas formed in the plasma arc into sodium hydroxide solution, to form sodium cyanide
  • Scrub out residual HCN gas from the gases released to atmosphere
  • Develop the piping and instrumentation diagrams to define the overall process
  • Develop the necessary mechanical design of the individual equipment elements and associated electrical and process control systems, including 3-D equipment and piping layouts
  • Provide data sheets and specifications for the purpose of procurement of all equipment by the Client.

Engineering Awards

The Synergen NaCN Plant is a world-first technology that has been invented, developed and tested from the ground up to meet the precise needs of the world’s gold, silver and base metal mineral processing operations.

In November 2014, the Synergen Met Sodium Cyanide production unit took out the top prize at the Institution of Chemical Engineers’ Global Awards in the UK, by winning the 2014 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemical and Process Engineering as well as winning the Core Chemical Engineering category. The invention also won the 2014 Institution of Engineers Australia, Queensland Division, Engineering Excellence Award for Research and Development and Innovation.

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