CFNP is an environmentally friendly way to produce nickel from nickel laterite ore whilst ralising significant operating cost savings compared to other processes in use today.Carbon Friendly Nickel Production (CFNP) is a process to recover nickel from laterite ore. It uses established acid leaching for the upstream extraction process, but the downstream separation processes represent a substantial innovation away from traditional technology.
The key innovations of CFNP involve:
Recovery and recycling of acid, rather than neutralisation and disposal.
Converting waste magnesium sulphate into magnesia and acid, further reducing the reagent cost
The cost reductions and environmental benefits go hand in hand. Less reagent imports leads to lower carbon emissions, lower water consumption and less solid waste.
The acid recovery occurs in three stages:
- The excess leach acid is recovered and recycled using membrane technology adopted from water treatment and medical industries.
- The dissolved iron is converted to a solid oxide form, thereby releasing acid for recycle and reuse. Depending on location this may be a saleable by-product.
- Sulphur dioxide from the magnesia recovery stage is converted back into acid.