The pilot plant was constructed in 1984 to upgrade the scientific and technological capabilities of the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI). Its construction was funded jointly by the Government of Jamaica and the United Nations Financing System for Science and Technology.
The pilot plant was designed with a high degree of flexibility of operation to make it capable of:
- evaluating the processing characteristics of a wide range of bauxite ores, and thereby identifying their attendant processing problems both technical and economic;
- simulating operations involved in the Bayer Process;
- providing facilities for training programmes for bauxite industry personnel;
- testing Chemicals; and
- testing Equipment
The plant is a complete closed circuit Bayer process facilityembracing the unit operations of an industrial scale Bayer alumina plant up to the hydrate production stage. It can operate at digestion temperatures up to 2600C and can process a minimum of 20 tons of bauxite continuously over a one-month period. The minimum production rate is 10 kg per hour of alumina. Bench scale simulations can be carried out in our Laboratories on a number of parameters, prior to the pilot plant study stage. The plant is equipped with online slurry density gauges, magnetic flowmeters, conductivity meters for the measurement of a/c ratios, temperature and pressure recording instruments.