Processing history at Vale Europe’s (Inco’s) nickel refinery in Clydach, Wales

CIM Journal, Vol. 4, No. 4, 2013
K. Lascelles Vale Europe Ltd., Clydach refinery Clydach, West Glamorgan, Wales B. R. Conard BRConard Consulting, Inc. Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Abstract Nickel compounds vary significantly in their toxicological properties, so it is critical that continuing studies to accurately quantify worker exposures consider the processing that accompanies refining nickel-containing materials. The Clydach nickel refinery, which has operated for more than 100 years, was the first nickel-producing facility to show a high risk for lung and nasal-sinus cancers among workers employed since it opened in 1902. Process chemistry and equipment have changed dramatically over Clydach’s history. This paper describes the processing evolution at Clydach with a focus on the propensity for aerosol formation and the forms of nickel in airborne dusts.
Keywords: Nickel refining, Nickel tetracarbonyl, Clydach refinery, Inco, Process history
Résumé Les propriétés toxicologiques des composés de nickel varient considérablement, il est donc essentiel que les études en cours analysent les traitements qui accompagnent l’affinage de matériaux contenant du nickel afin de quantifier l’exposition des travailleurs de manière précise. L’affinerie de Clydach, en opération depuis plus de 100 ans, a été la première installation à produire du nickel à montrer un risque élevé de cancers du poumon et du nez/ des sinus chez les travailleurs depuis son ouverture en 1902. La chimie du procédé et les équipements ont grandement changé au cours de l’histoire de l’affinerie de Clydach. Le présent article décrit l’évolution du procédé à l’affinerie Clydach; il souligne la tendance à la formation d’aérosols et les formes de nickel dans les poussières aéroportées.
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