Customer story: Precious metal recovery from Kemira’s process waters

The aim of the project is to help Kemira utilize the precious metals used in its process more efficiently. The recovery of precious metals and their local reuse can significantly reduce recycling and financing costs.

It is difficult to reuse water containing precious metals and thus Kemira’s process requires a solution to selectively collect dissolved target metals from process and wastewater.

Especially with precious metals it is crucial to recover the metals as precisely as posible so that the expensive resources are not wasted. At the same time, the system must llow the recovered metals to be easily returned to the process.

“There are several different types of waste streams in that process that we are interested in utilizing. At the beginning of the project, we were particularly interested in finding out whether Weeefiner’s 4D Scavenger could be used for more than one process stream,” says Juhani Paloniemi, Kemira’s technical manager.

Custom hardware with a clear project path

Every customer case is different, so all the processes and equipment supplied by Weeefiner are tailored to meet the needs of our customers. For this reason, the service process is divided into four stages, which, in addition to the actual equipment delivery, include process optimization with both laboratory and pilot equipment.

“Structurally, the project path is really well suited for hardware design like this. The project has moved easily and consistently from initial testing to more scalable testing and further piloting,” Paloniemi comments. “In addition, the service has been efficient, smooth and comfortable throughout the project path.”

The goal of testing and piloting is to find out which 4D Scavenger would best suit Kemira’s needs and what equipment is needed for the final process. At the same time, the process is optimized to collect the target metals as precisely and cost-effectively as possible.

Target metals recovered up to 100 %

Currently, the main properties of the process have been determined and tested in the laboratory. The results are very promising and the desired metals are recovered with up to 100% efficiency from both process and wastewater. In addition, the recovered material is recovered from the process in a form that is easily recovered on-site, i.e. the metals can be recycled directly.

“Based on testing, it is clear that 4D Scavenger is a versatile and efficient product for cleaning various waste streams and recovering useful metals. It is a simple and easily approachable product,” says Paloniemi.

Now the project has progressed to the pilot phase, during which the operation of the 4D Scavenger is tested on a scale of thousands of liters using Weeefiner’s pilot container. At this stage, the final tweaks to the process are made before the design and construction of production-scale equipment.

Weeefiner’s pilot Recovery Unit. With the pilot unit we can scale the testing to thousands of liters.

About Kemira

Kemira manufactures sustainable chemical solutions for water-intensive industries such as the pulp, paper, oil and gas industries and water treatment. The leading position in the industry is based on the products and expertise that best support process and resource efficiency as well as quality. In 2020, Kemira’s net sales were approximately EUR 2.4 billion and the number of employees was approximately 5,000.

About Weeefiner

Weeefiner is a technological pioneer providing solutions to streamline current industrial processes and to increase utilization of production side streams.

As the environmental regulations and targets continue to tighten, the need for practical and cost-effective ways to enhance circular economy has increased. The fast-growing startup company provides tools and services for recovery of soluble metals and helps to turn low-value and toxic waste streams into valuable and sustainable products.

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