The year 2022 was a challenging one for the LIFE PCR project. After a successful commissioning of the leaching and purification in 2021, the production of zinc sulphate solution had a good start in start in the first quarter of 2022. During these first months of hot-commissioning/start-up of the process the project also ran into some technical challenges which needed modifications on the plant. The production was paused from March due to the delivery and commissioning of the equipment to process the zinc sulphate solution (half-product) into zinc sulphate monohydrate crystals (end-product). During this time also modifications were done on the leaching and purification section. Three extra months of delay was encountered due to the late delivery of some important instrumentation which we needed to be able to run the plant safely. At the end September 2022 the restart-up of the plant could begin. During the fourth quarter of 2022 a purified zinc sulphate solution with the required concentration at the desired quality was produced. The purified zinc sulphate solution was fed to the crystallizer producing the first zinc sulphate monohydrate product demonstrating the full production line. During the remaining demonstration period the plant will be further debottlenecked, the technology matured and production should further ramp-up. Parallel to that the team is also dedicated to ensure the quality of the product to be sold and to look for new customers for our products produced.
Furthermore the project is looking at the replicability of the technology. The goal is to scale up the demonstration plant by a factor 5-10. Furthermore the project is open to discuss partnerships or other types of cooperation to replicate the LIFE PCR project.