Making a hard-water challenge look easy.

Northwest Alaska Mining Company

Customer
A Northwest Alaska mining company
Location
Northwest Alaska
Project
Cleaning of 8” pipe - fouled with water deposits
Facility
Mill operations
Equipment
LT return pipe
Pipe Material
Carbon Steel
OD
8”
Schedule
40
Length
Approximately 200’ in total length (divided into 3 sections)
Foulant/Buildup
Calcium carbonate, calcium silicate, produce water and other water deposits

For years, a mining company in northwest Alaska had had struggled with the buildup of calcium carbonate, calcium silicate, produce water and other deposits packed into approximately 200 feet of 8” carbon-steel pipe. Conventional hydroblasting methods failed to remove the buildup. Shutdowns typically lasted 48 hours, which wasn’t enough time to sufficiently clear the pipe. The problem had reached a critical point in mill operations, so they contacted Hydrokinetics.

The client was skeptical. While our patented Hydrokinetics process had proven its effectiveness for years, it had never been used in a mining operation. There were several tight 90° turns to navigate and the fouling was extremely hard. Water also posed corrosion issues.

Separating the line before each turn, we applied the Hydrokinetics process to each section individually. In only a few hours, we removed the hardened water from the walls of the tubes. An 80-foot vertical section of pipe was cleaned in only 3.5 hours. An 80-foot horizontal section was cleaned in one shift. Several remaining 6-foot spool pieces were cleaned in 1-2 hours.

Everyone, us included, was amazed at the amount of material removed and how quickly and easily the bond between foulant and pipe was broken. For the first time in years, the pipes were clean and fully functional. We were happy that our breakthough technology could be successfully utilized in a completely new industry.