CDE Helps Producers Overcome Water Management Challenges

Innovations in the washing sector and the continued advancement of CDE’s pioneering wet-processing solutions are supporting quarry operators and materials processors alike to overcome the challenges stemming from water management; whether those are cost-based, efficiency, sustainability and regulatory.

CDE’s modular wet-processing equipment can contribute to the easing of water scarcity issues arising from the materials processing industry’s consumption of water resources, greatly improve water efficiency, and better wastewater management practices. Developing technological solutions to tackle these mounting challenges is paramount for many materials processors seeking to boost the profitability of their operation by minimizing the consumption of costly water resources.

CDE consistently invests in research and development with the aim of enhancing the capabilities of its premier water recycling and management equipment. At the forefront of its water recycling systems is the AquaCycle, a single, compact, and user-friendly unit that can be applied to high and low tonnages across many markets.

Delivering competitive advantage to its customers, CDE’s AquaCycle accelerates return on investment by maximizing production efficiency, minimizing the loss of valuable fines, and reducing water and energy costs.

An alternative to water extraction and the costly process of pumping water to the plant, CDE’s AquaCycle is a highly efficient water management solution that minimizes costly water consumption by ensuring up to 90% of process water is recycled for immediate recirculation.

After feed material has been washed and classified, waste is sent to the AquaCycle thickener tank. Here, a small amount of polyelectrolyte flocculant is added to the water via an automatic dosing station which forces fine particles to settle on the bottom of the thickener tank. The clean water on the top overflows the weir and is stored in the AquaStore tank before being re-circulated around the plant. The result is a highly efficient water recycling system that requires only a 10% supply of top-up water.

Waste sludge is discharged into a buffer tank where a motorized rake in constant rotation ensures the material does not settle and solidify. If further dewatering is required, a plate press or decanter is added to the wet processing solution to eliminate the need for settling ponds.

Intelligent Design – Though water recycling may seem simple in theory, it is, in practice, much more complex. Water thickeners are not born equal and their efficiency is the result of years of dedicated research, development, and refinement. Every aspect of its design is carefully considered so that the system is responsive to the site-specific needs of its owner.

“We sweat the small stuff,” said Kevin Vallelly, director of engineering at CDE. “CDE has been co-creating with customers for more than 25 years to deliver collaborative, imaginative and unique processing systems, and this process has been informing and refining our water recycling technologies.”

All CDE equipment is designed to allow plug-and-play operation, that is equipment is pre-wired and pre-tested before dispatch, designed for rapid assembly and set up and can start processing material within days of arrival onsite. These design considerations and factory acceptance tests significantly reduce install time and accelerate return on investment.

He added, “Fast return on investment is a very real proposition when the CDE AquaCycle thickener is introduced to a washing operation. It boosts the efficiency of the wet processing plant by maximizing the settlement of solids which reduces the quantity of flocculant required, cuts running costs, and optimizing the overall efficiency of the plant.”

Return on investment with a CDE AquaCycle is typically achieved in just six to nine months.

Settling ponds are known to be the source of significant revenue losses, not only due to high maintenance costs, site footprint, and downtime, but also because high value fines can become lost and trapped at the bottom of ponds.

He continued, “By recycling up to 90% of process water, the requirement for settling ponds is greatly reduced. With the addition of a plate press tailings management system that need is completely eliminated. When combined with a CDE PlatePress custom-built fines management system this figure increases to 95%, removing the need for settling ponds altogether.”

Long-Term Benefits – Water management systems are becoming a must-have for mine and quarry operations to comply with environmental regulations. Matters concerning the protection of finite resources on the planet will only become more prevalent, too.

Vallelly concluded, “The benefits of the CDE AquaCycle significantly outweigh their initial investment; not only for the short period until return on investment is achieved, but for the preparedness it offers. Water management and water recycling are prevalent issues that will only become more tightly regulated and monitored in years to come. The AquaCycle ensures operators stay ahead of the curve while extracting maximum value from available resources and driving down operating costs.”

The AquaCycle system is available to operators around the world and is ready to complement wet processing applications in five sectors – sand and aggregates, mining, construction and demolition waste recycling, environmental applications, and industrial sands.


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