Masan High-Tech Materials’ member firm H.C. Starck Tungsten Powders patents an innovative reverse osmosis process
H.C. Starck Tungsten Powders, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vietnam listed Masan High Tech Materials, has developed a new process for high-pressure reverse osmosis in the production of tungsten chemicals which significantly reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions compared to conventional processes.
To achieve this, the Technology & Innovation department under the direction of Julia Meese-Marktscheffel cooperated closely with process specialist OSMO Membrane Systems. H.C. Starck is already using the process at its Goslar site for the concentration of ammonium metatungstate solutions on an industrial scale. Because of its positive environmental impact, the development project was subsidized by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
Ammonium Metatungstate, also known as AMT, is one of the key forms of tungsten chemicals. It is a white crystalline powder with high water solubility that is used in the production of catalysts. In the production of AMT, a very thin solution is first obtained from ammonium paratungstate (APT), which then has to be highly concentrated. This is traditionally done by evaporating the water it contains, with steam being introduced with a high input of energy. With the newly developed H.C. Starck patent-pending process, the solution is pressed under high pressure through a semi-permeable membrane. The amount of energy required for this is negligible compared to conventional evaporation-based processes.
"Our innovative approach to the use of membrane technology reduces energy consumption by more than 95 percent at a production volume of around 1,000 tons of AMW a year. At the same time, this scenario reduces climate-damaging carbon dioxide emissions by around 900 tons - a real win-win situation for the company and the environment alike. The positive effects may increase even further going forward because the plant is designed for higher capacities." says Julia Meese-Marktscheffel.
H.C. Starck Tungsten Powders is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality tungsten powder tailored to individual customer needs. The company combines a century of experience in tungsten processing with high innovative power and technological expertise. Decades of experience in recycling and access to the world’s largest tungsten reserves outside of China, owned by its parent group Masan High-Tech Materials, ensure the company’s stable supply of conflict-free raw materials. H.C. Starck Tungsten Powders employs around 540 people at three production sites in Germany, Canada and China plus sales offices in the U.S. and Japan. The company is headquartered in Goslar, Germany where its largest production site is located.