Environmental Upgrade at the Freeport McMoran Miami Smelter

Additonal authors: Brandt, Robert. 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

Jones, David M.

In 2010 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (UESPA) revised the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) by lowering the permissible value to a 1-hour average SO2 concentration of 75 ppb. In 2012, the USEPA designated the Miami area as non-attaining for the new SO2 NAAQS. A number of options were studied to assist in bringing the Miami smelter into attainment with the new standard. The chosen solution included: Installation of a large tertiary hooding system over the converter aisle; Hooding of the anode vessels and treatment of the anode gas in a baghouse; Installation of a large 2,325,212 Nm3/hr caustic scrubber to treat the captured converter fugitives and anode off-gases; Installation of a secondary ESP for the tapping fugitive off-gas treatment system; and the continuous scrubbing of all acid plant tail stack gases. The modifications have reduced smelter SO2 emissions by 85%, achieving a world class SO2 stack emissions rate of 0.45 kg of SO2/tonne Cu. INTRODUCTION The Freeport McMoRan Miami smelter has been previously described in literature (Steinborn, Pasca, Sallee, Binegar, Bhappu). For the sake of brevity a brief description is given here. The Miami smelter is located 129 km east of Phoenix, Arizona near the town of Miami, Arizona. The smelter was established in 1915 and has undergone a number of process upgrades and modernizations over the years. The present smelter consists of an Isasmelt furnace, an electric settling furnace, four Hoboken converters, two anode refining vessels & one casting wheel; and one double contact sulfuric acid plant. Concentrates are railed & trucked to Miami from four Freeport McMoRan mines located in Arizona & New Mexico. The wet concentrates, typically containing 10% H2O with a Cu/S ratio of 0.85, are smelted in an Isasmelt furnace to a matte grade of 58%. The entire output from the Isasmelt is laundered into an Elkem electric furnace (originally installed in 1972 as the primary smelting furnace) for separation into matte and slag. Slag containing 0.85% Cu is skimmed from the electric furnace and discarded. Molten matte, containing 60% Cu, is tapped from the electric furnace and processed in one of four Hoboken converters to produce blister copper. Two anode refining vessels further refine the blister copper before the final product is cast on a single, 30 mold, casting wheel. All of the anodes produced at Miami are shipped to the Freeport McMoRan electrolytic refinery in El Paso Texas for refining into cathode copper. Smelter off-gases from the Isasmelt, electric furnace and Hoboken converters are combined and treated in a double contact acid plant to produce sulfuric acid. Acid produced at Miami is internally consumed at Freeport McMoRan mines in the region.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019