HighTech Finland › New Materials & Processes › Materials ›  Making more sustainable use of our natural resources

Forest Industry Applications
Manufacturing & Systems
Materials
The ALD powerhouse
Recycled really can be beautiful
Things are getting thinner
Get inspired by copper architecture
Simply better surfaces
A proud heritage
Making more sustainable use of our natural resources
Going for green in the booming mining sector
Insulate and reap the benefits
Steel sandwich elements – one technique, many applications
Even gold can be improved, when you know how
When it’s the best in carbon nanotechnology you want
Measurement & Testing
Transport & Logistics
All articles in this section

 

Making more sustainable use of our natural resources

Outotec’s pioneering technologies help reduce water, energy, and raw material consumption and cut emissions and waste levels – and enable the company’s customers to use less energy and resources, while generating less waste and achieving lower life-time operating costs.

Outotec has been an innovator in minerals and metals processing technologies for close to a century, and has become a leader in areas such as chemicals, fertilisers, energy, and industrial water treatment, thanks to its highly efficient and environmentally sound expertise across the entire processing chain: from ore to refined metals.

As Outotec’s solutions are typically expected to last for decades, they are designed to have as small an environmental footprint as possible. In addition to process and energy efficiency and overall sustainability, high standards of performance in areas such as reliability, availability, maintainability, and safety are also prioritised.

With water in short supply at many mining sites, water-related technology has become an increasingly important key focus area for Outotec in recent years, and the company has developed numerous solutions for reducing process water needs by increasing water recycling and cutting wastewater levels.

A global expert

The common denominator in all of Outotec’s technologies is their ability to save energy, natural resources, and capital, often all at the same time. Environmental priorities are integrated into Outotec’s processes from the start, rather than being bolted on as an afterthought.

Outotec is using the innovative new 3D-imaging technology to optimise processes such as flotation.
Simply developing and supplying advanced technology is not enough to ensure the sustainability of a customer’s project, however, which is why Outotec aims to offer its customers a comprehensive range of expertise: from feasibility studies, conceptual engineering, and process and plant engineering to equipment design and supply, and turnkey plant deliveries.

Outotec also works with customers after plants have been commissioned to ensure that they continue to run smoothly, providing knowhow in areas such as plant audits, optimisation, upgrades, maintenance, and training. When a plant comes to the end of its useful life, Outotec can help with shutting it down and repurposing the site for future use.

Innovative online process control solutions based on 3D-imaging

Outotec strengthened its process control expertise in 2012 by acquiring Numcore, a Finnish start-up specialising in innovative online process control solutions based on 3D-imaging. This technology – known as EIT (Electrical Impedance Tomography) – uses conductivity measurement techniques to see inside process vessels and pipework.

EIT has already proved what it is capable of in the control and optimisation of froth flotation processes, as it enables slurry and froth levels, as well as froth stiffness, to be measured very accurately. This know-how will be very useful for Outotec, which has supplied over 10,000 flotation units and more than 1,600 thickeners to the minerals processing industry over the last 20 years. EIT technology is also ideal for new types of flotation cells and thickeners, as it has the potential to increase metal recovery by optimising the froth flotation process, as well as production efficiency and reliability. The technology also has extensive application potential in other areas as well.

“Outotec’s technologies save energy, 
natural resources, and capital”

Numerous benchmark technologies

Dozens of Outotec technologies have become industry benchmarks, including its revolutionary flash smelting and flash converting technologies for sulphidic copper ore

  • The majority of the world’s iron ore pellets, half of the world’s primary copper, and a third of the nickel sourced from sulphide ores are produced using Outotec processes
  • Over 87% of Outotec’s technologies can be classified as environmental goods and services (EGS) under OECD criteria
  • Key areas of Outotec’s expertise include concentration, filtration, solid-state material metallurgy, pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, and gas handling
  • Outotec also has extensive know-how in material technology, plant and equipment engineering, equipment and process automation, and managing major international projects as turnkey deliveries
  • Outotec has two in-house research centres, state-of-the-art laboratories, and extensive test facilities in Finland and Germany.
Outotec’s solutions are designed to have as small an environmental footprint as possible.
> Kari Knuutila
(Published in HighTech Finland 2013)