The Dow Chemical Company has announced the alignment of its industry-leading mineral extraction and processing technologies with its growing portfolio of technology offerings for oil and gas. The company cited opportunities and synergies in chemistry-based solutions across the global extraction industry. The announcement was made on the occasion of Investing in African Mining Indaba 2013, the world’s largest investment conference for stakeholders in the mining industry, hosted annually in Cape Town, South Africa. Dow Oil & Gas, formalised as a market-driven solutions provider for oil and gas extraction in 2008, will now operate as Dow Oil, Gas & Mining under the global leadership of business director Larry Ryan.
"This move allows us to further enhance the value we can bring to customers in natural resource extraction by unifying and strengthening our portfolio of solutions," said Ryan. "It also brings our market-driven business strategy to bear on the mining industry, fostering more touch points with the persons, organizations and companies that are deeply entrenched in the industry and can provide valuable insight as we seek and identify opportunities to apply our chemistries and technologies to areas of ongoing and unmet market needs."
Dow has one of the largest R&D investment programs in the global chemical industry and accelerates its innovation timeline with high-throughput research methodology, which dramatically shortens time spent in the earliest stages of R&D. Recent Dow innovations in oil and gas include solutions for the recovery of natural gas from shale and subsea oil from deeper ocean depths. In mining, Dow is known for pioneering the use of ion exchange resins for uranium extraction and continues to be the leading innovator and supplier of this technology, with ongoing advances in both resin-in-solution and resin-in-pulp systems. Dow is also a leading provider of froth flotation technology for mineral extraction and offers additional chemistry and process solutions for comminution, flotation and mineral mining, as well as for special applications like dust management, pulp transport and corrosion protection for transport equipment.
Dow is also the world’s largest manufacturer of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes and ion exchange resins for water and wastewater treatment, as well as a leading provider of ultrafiltration (UF) membranes. Many of these technologies have applications in mining, not only for extraction as in uranium production, but also more universally for water and wastewater management. For example, Dow UF membranes work in combination with RO membranes to offer mine operators an effective alternative to traditional sand filtration for effluent treatment.
"These alternative technologies facilitate the reuse of effluent wastewater and are typically lower in capital cost and significantly lower in physical footprint," said Paul-Michael Pellny, Strategic Marketing Manager, Industrial Processes, Dow Water & Process Solutions. "These technologies also may be coupled with Dow ion exchange resins to manage acid mine drainage and extract byproducts with re-sale potential.
"Mining is ranked as the second largest industrial user of water globally, making management solutions critical to sustainable operation," said Pellny. Dow operates state-of-the-art water processing R&D centers in the United States, China, Spain, Brazil, Germany and Saudi Arabia, with the goal of delivering best-in-class, yet cost-effective water management technologies. Dow’s innovations in RO membranes, for example, have reduced the cost of seawater desalination by 35 percent, and similar cost efficiencies have been generated for the treatment of brackish water.
Dow technologies offered for the mining industry include:
- DOWFROTH™ Polymers used in specialty frothing solutions for a broad range of minerals and ore;
- AMBERSEP™ and DOWEX™ Ion Exchange Resins for metal separation;
- AMBERJET™, AMBERLITE™, AMBERSEP, and DOWEX Ion Exchange Resins for water and wastewater treatment;
- DOW FILMTEC™ RO Membranes for water and wastewater treatment;
- DOW™ UF Membranes for RO pretreatment and/or bacteria removal from water;
- VERSENE™ Chelants for effectively removing several types of scale formations;
- Polypropylene glycols (PPGs) for use as antifoaming and defoaming agents.