Brenntag Chile: Efficient use of water at copper mine

An example of Brenntag’s water expertise involves a customer solution in Chile: to reduce the mining industry’s use of scarce fresh water, seawater is used for copper refining. However, this seawater has to be transported to the mines which are frequently situated well inland and requires energy-intensive desalination once there. To avoid these steps, a Brenntag customer has developed a technology which enables the use of seawater for copper sulfide treatment. Since 2014, it has used a solution consisting of sodium bisulphate powder and salt water which Brenntag Chile manufactures on site. Brenntag constructed a dilution plant which it operates at the mine for this purpose. This has not only reduced the costs for the customer but has also improved the environmental footprint: with a full rate of utilization, annual use of fresh water has been reduced by an estimated 12,000 cubic meters, while annual CO2 emissions have been cut by an estimated 1,000 tons as more than 400 tanker lorry trips to the mine are saved every year.

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