Asarco LLC Hayden Converter Retrofit Project – An Update

Additonal authors: Safe, P.. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:

Proceedings, Vol. Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019, 2019

Russell, M.

ASARCO LLC (Asarco) Hayden Copper smelter, in Hayden, Arizona, has operated continuously (except for minor labor and economic curtailments) since 1912. The current plant configuration comprises INCO flash smelting, Peirce Smith (P-S) converting and fire refining/anode casting. In order to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for sulfur dioxide promulgated in June 2010, the Hayden smelter had to increase overall sulfur fixation from approximately 95 % to 99+ %, requiring a retrofit of the existing converter department and upgrade of associated emissions controls systems. The Converter Retrofit Project (CRP) involved replacing the five existing 13’ diameter Peirce-Smith converters (2 blowing, 2 hot standby) with three new 15’ diameter Peirce- Smith converters (1 blowing, 1 hot standby) to allow for more effective process gas capture using the existing acid plant contact section. Significant upgrades were made to the acid plant wet gas cleaning section and converter primary gas handling system to improve capture performance, reliability, and sludge handling. In addition, a new tertiary gas capture system was installed to further minimize fugitive emissions from the converter aisle. The existing furnace tapping ventilation ESP was replaced with a new baghouse to enable at least 50% SO2 removal using high-surface-area dry lime injection, which was also implemented on the existing converter secondary gas baghouse system. The first two converters and all gas handling system improvements were started up in April 2018, and the third converter was brought online in November 2018. This paper presents the regulatory context; genesis and rationale for CRP; detailed description of the project; challenges during commissioning; system improvements implemented, and design considerations made, and systems performance and process optimization achieved since startup.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019