Separation of fluorocarbon gases from a reactor plasma system
Grunenberg, Alfred Teo
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South Africa has natural resources in mineral feedstock containing gold, manganese, chromium, vanadium, copper, antimony, phosphate rock, uranium, fluorspar and titanium. A high percentage of these ores are exported in unbeneficiated form. There are beneficiation opportunities to transform the raw materials to value-added products, thus increasing employment and stimulating the South African economy. Fluorocarbon (CxFy) gases can be produced via high-temperature plasma processes, where fluorspar and carbon (CaF2 + C) react at -6000K. These gases are traditionally separated by means of costly and unsafe cryogenic distillation. The focus of this project is to propose a feasible separation process and to interlink it to a plasma system in order to develop a conceptual plant that can produce 2500 t/a C2F4 and 625 t/a C3F6 safely and cost-effectively, both with 96% purity. To execute the above a literature survey was done giving vital information on absorption and distillation systems as well as membranes that can be used to separate CF4 from CxFy gas streams at acceptable pressures and temperatures.
- Engineering