Process description and aerosol exposures at Vale Canada’s (Inco’s) Copper Cliff nickel refinery

CIM Journal, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2015, pages 168-177

B. R. Conard
BRConard Consulting, Inc., Oakville, Ontario, Canada

http://dx.doi.org/10.15834/cimj.2015.18
Abstract As part of a series describing the nickel operations of Vale Canada (formerly known as Inco), this paper focuses on the 1973 to current operations of the Copper Cliff nickel refinery in Ontario, Canada. The process used there employs the formation of Ni tetracarbonyl at high CO (gas) pressure and its subsequent decomposition at somewhat elevated temperatures to produce highly pure Ni pellets and powders. Personal sampling of workplace aerosol dusts is reported, with information on specific Ni compounds in the aerosols.
Keywords: Aerosol dusts, Inco, Nickel refining, Nickel tetracarbonyl, Vapometallurgy
Résumé Dans le cadre de la série d’articles décrivant les opérations de nickel chez Vale Canada (anciennement Inco), le présent article cible les opérations de 1973 à ce jour à l’affinerie de nickel de Copper Cliff en Ontario, Canada. Le procédé utilisé à cette usine est la formation de tétracarbonylnickel sous une pression élevée de CO (gaz) et sa décomposition subséquente à des températures plutôt élevées pour produire des granules et des poudres de Ni pur. Un échantillonnage par l’auteur des poussières en aérosol est présenté ainsi que de l’information sur les composés spécifiques de Ni dans les aérosols.
Mots-Clé Affinage du nickel, Inco, poussières en aérosol, tétracarbonylnickel, vapométallurgie
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