Due to the increase in the demand for nickel driven by the boom in the electric vehicles market, BHP decided to build a plant to convert its nickel product to extremely pure (battery grade) nickel sulphate hexahydrate. The last step of that process was the crystallisation plant.

The crystalliser plant is designed to produce 100,000 tonnes per year of pure nickel sulphate hexahydrate at a purity of 99.95%.  JordProxa’s crystalliser design will ensure optimum crystal size and size distribution, to ensure trouble free centrifuge operation, with minimum impurities. The heart of the plant is a Draft Tube Baffle (DTB) crystallizer which produces large crystals with an average diameter of 1 mm or more. Careful considerations were given to the design to make sure the product met high purity battery grade specifications.

Although product purity Is necessarily paramount to sell into the battery chemical market, it is nevertheless important that the suppliers plant operate at high efficiency and low energy usage in order to achieve low operating costs. JordProxa’s design pioneers the use of Mechanical Vapour Recompression (MVR), which costs less to run than steam driven crystallisers where steam is not a by-product available at negligible or no cost. It also requires very little water to condense the evaporated vapours, unlike steam driven systems.

JordProxa worked closely with BHP’s project team to develop a solution which not only met their process objectives, but which was easy to install. To minimize the site installation work, which was a key objective, we provided a modular plant complete with piping, instrumentation and control wiring.