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An Australian-first innovation for bottom-loading sulphuric acid

by Treloar November 26, 2021

In mid-2021 a local metals processing plant - part of a global multi-metal business approached Treloar with a unique request to determine the possibility of bottom loading trucks with 98.5% sulphuric acid. 

If the Treloar team could design a solution for this challenge it would be an Australian-first, given bottom loading acid has not previously been achieved in Australia. Sulphuric acid transfer systems must be designed to handle the huge safety risk involved, and the customer had made this a top priority. For them, improving operator safety and reducing the risk of spill for their future operations is of paramount importance. 

Never one to shy away from unusual challenges, the Treloar team put our heads together with some European partners to scope the project, review previous projects, and research the latest technologies before we developed a concept and sourced the equipment that would form the solution. 

Throughout this initial process, we regularly engaged with the customer and invited some of our key partners to present solutions for specific components. This communication was key as it helped to make it clear that a design-only scope of work agreement was required. 

With this scope of work now in place, our team has proceeded to the design phase for this project. This phase brings some significant challenges, including the corrosive nature of acid and therefore the risk of injury or environmental contamination. This is exactly the type of challenge we love and excel in!

We also needed to ensure that the design incorporated:

  • an interface with the customer’s existing plant control systems;
  • a stand alone loadout skid with process instrumentation;
  • a dry-break system that can withstand the harsh conditions; and 
  • a reliable loading arm with serviceable seals. 

We have recently completed our 50% design review and now are working on the detail of electrical controls and mechanical specifications. Our current stage of the project also includes the determination of upgrades required for the transport fleet. 

We are on track to complete the design early in 2022 and implement the final installation by the end of FY21/22. 

Stay tuned for updates on our process with this project, and if you have similar challenges with the transfer of hazardous chemicals, reach out to the Treloar team for a solution.

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