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Salt extraction from desert sand

(1992 and 2005)

In 1992, EBNER was awarded the contract for planning and delivery of a plant for the extraction of high-purity sodium sulfate (Na2SO4) from desert sand in the Middle East. This exists in the form of a salt layer with a thickness of approx. 100 mm on the earth’s crust. This salt layer consists mainly of inorganic salts such as sodium sulfate, sodium chloride, magnesium sulfate and calcium sulfate.

Among other things, the following process steps are applied in this case:

  1. Extraction and transport of the crude salt into the plant
  2. Dissolution of the crude salt, removal of the undesirable and insoluble components and preparation of an aqueous solution
  3. Crystallization of the salts present in the aqueous solution by cooling crystallization, removal of the soluble components and production of the Glauber’s salt (sodium sulfate with adhering water)
  4. Melting of the Glauber’s salt and production of sodium sulfate (calcination)
  5. 5. Separation, drying and packing of the sodium sulfate

Due to the high economic efficiency of the plant and the customer’s satisfaction with the quality and robustness of the plant after more than 10 years of operation, the customer ordered two further identical plants in 2005.

Technical specifications of the plant:

  • Feed rate solution: 52 m3/h
  • Main ingredients solution: Na2SO4, NaCl
  • Water evaporation: 4,5 t/h
  • Product: Na2SO4
  • Production rate: 6,7 t/h

The scope of delivery of EBNER with company-related personnel consisted, among other things, of:

  • Basic and detail engineering incl. design of main components
  • Production of main components
  • Erection supervision of the entire system
  • Commissioning supervision of the entire plant
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