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home : blogsold : verde heritage May 29, 2016

Verde Heritage
By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ
Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012

1919 CLARKDALE SMELTER EXPANSION.

Verde Heritage

"The great changes at the United Verde mine are being made to increase the output of ore and they involve additions at the smelter plant increasing its capacity to an extent that will enable it to handle all the ores that the mines can deliver."

"In addition to increasing the capacity of the plant, advantage has been taken of the opportunity thus presented to effect a number of radical changes and betterments in the smelter itself. The chief of these are the adoption of a powdered coal fuel supply and the installation of a Cottrell treating plant, the latter to remove all deleterious substances from the smelter smoke and also to recover the values that are now lost through the stack."

"As one of the company's officials stated the matter, 'the construction work either under way or contemplated at the Clarkdale smelter is all aimed to accomplish one of two things --- increase the production of copper or effect economies in such production.'"

"INCREASED CAPACITY: To accomplish the first of these objects, the smelter's reverberatory plant is being more than doubled. The original installation consisted of three reverberatory furnaces, each 19 1/2 x 100 feet, with the necessary compliment of roasters, converters, etc. In addition to this equipment there will be provided under the present plans three additional reverberatories each 26 x 100 feet, which will handle considerably more calcines than the original installation and, as stated, more than double the plant's capacity."

"The new section of the plant will be housed in a new steel building which is now complete. The charge hoppers and foundations for the furnaces themselves is well under way."

"BOILER PLANT: The extension of the furnace system required a corresponding increase in the boiler plant, which consisted originally of six 700 h. p. Sterling boilers using the waste heat from the three reverberatory furnaces. To them are being added eight 700 h. p. boilers of the same pattern, two of which will be direct fired and the other six will be fired from the three new furnaces."

"The steam power generated by these boilers will be used for driving the smelter air compressors and the turbo-generators which will furnish all the electric power used at the mine and smelter."

"CONVERTER AND ROASTER PLANT: The present converter plant consists of six Great Falls pattern converters to which will be added two more of the same type. No radical change is noted in the construction of the new machines. The work of installation is now something better than fifty per cent completed."

"The present roaster plant consists of twelve Wedge mechanical furnaces. Due to the increase in the capacity of the reverberatory plant, it will be necessary to provide considerably more than twice the amount of calcines heretofore produced."

"To meet this demand, the new No. 2 roaster plant is being constructed. It will be equipped with twelve 7-hearth 22 ft. 6 in. diameter Wedge furnaces, these being considerably larger than those used in the present plant. Construction of this plant has begun and it is expected that it will be complete and in operation by next summer."

"COAL PLANT: One of the more radical changes in the operation of the smelter is the change from the use of oil to powdered coal as fuel."

"The price of fuel oil has been climbing steadily until it has reached the point at which it ceases to be as economical as coal and the United Verde has decided to change the entire smelter over to a powdered coal basis."

"Five hundred tons daily is the capacity of the pulverizing plant which will reduce the coal as it comes from the mines to a powdered form usable for firing into the reverberatory furnaces and also into the fire boxes of the direct-fired boilers."

"The coal plant required to operate the smelter is of a magnitude that entitles it to be classed almost as a separate industry and its cost far exceeds that of many a modern factory, running close to the half-million mark."

"The entire plant is strictly modern in every detail and represents the most advanced coal plant engineering ideas. All the six buildings are fireproof, being built of steel, concrete and brick and all are excellently lighted being equipped throughout with Fenestra steel sash."

The coal plant consists primarily of the storage bins into which the coal is unloaded from the cars and various buildings. The primary breaker, which crushes the coal into 1 1/2-inch maximum size is in the breaker building which is two stories high and 24 x 24 feet in size. The dryer building is three stories high, occupies 102 x 66 feet of ground space and houses all the coal drying equipment. Here all moisture in excess of from three to five percent is removed. The disintegrator building is 40 x 36 feet. Here the dried coal is reduced to 2/3-inch maximum size. The pulverizing building is six stories high, occupies a ground space of 108 x 70 feet and houses all the coal pulverizing and auxilliary equipment. From this plant the coal is conveyed through a 16-inch screw conveyor to 600-ton bins located in front of the reverberatory furnace. From these bins the powdered fuel is fed into and blown through burners into the furnaces. The blower and switch house is 80 x 30 feet. It has been constructed to contain the electrical control apparatus for the coal plant and the blowers furnishing compressed air for the combustion of the powdered coal in the furnaces. The conveyor runways total 300 feet in length. The office and warehouse building is 80 x 50 feet.

(Verde Daily Copper News; Saturday, November 29, 1919; section 2, page 2, columns 2-4.)




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