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Sulphuric Acid on the WebTM Technical Manual DKL Engineering, Inc.

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Acid Plant Database March 2, 2014

Owner Aurubis AG

Aurubis-Logo.jpg (18984 bytes)  na-ag.gif (6768 bytes)

Location Hamburg
Background Formerly Norddeutsche Affinerie AG
2009 - Name changed to Aurubis


Plant Original Plant Line No. 1 Line No. 2 Line No. 3
Coordinates - 53º 30' 49" N, 10º 2' 21" E 53º 30' 48" N, 10º 2' 25" E 53º 30' 47" N, 10º 2' 27" E
Type of Plant Metallurgical Metallurgical Metallurgical Metallurgical
Gas Source Copper Copper
Outotec Flash Furnace (1972)
Peirce-Smith Converters
Plant Capacity - 1300 MTPD 1300 MTPD 1300 MTPD
99.7 to 99.8% conversion
2/2 DA
99.7 to 99.8% conversion
3/2 DA
99.8% conversion
Status Shutdown 1991 Operating Operating Operating
Year Built 1936 1972 1972 1991
Technology - - - Lurgi (Outotec)
Contractor - - - Lurgi
Remarks This was the first acid plant to be installed in a metal smelter anywhere in the world. - - -
Gas Cleaning System: Quench Tower - 2nd Quench Tower - Cyclone Stage (Gas Cooler) - 1st Stage WESP - 2nd Stage WESP - Odda Tower

      Aurubis-Germany-4.jpg (51466 bytes)

General 1972 - New smelter was commissioned as well as the first double absorption plant.
1989 - Mercury Removal system installed

The NA Group is the largest copper producer in Europe and as well the largest copper recycler worldwide. It produces about 800,000 tonnes of copper and copper products annually and with about 3,200 employees is one of the leading copper producers worldwide.

The core business is the production of copper cathodes from copper concentrates, copper scrap and recycling materials. These are then processed into continuous cast wire rod and shapes, rolled products and copper alloys. Precious metals are likewise an important product sector. Further specialty products produced and marketed by the NA Group are all the major natural by-elements from copper production. These are processed, for example, into sulphuric acid and iron silicate stone.

References Hintze, H. and Gunther, R., "Heavy Corrosion Protection Maintenance of Copper Smelter Gas Cleaning Facilities", Sulphur 2014

December 16, 2013 - German copper smelter Aurubis expects profits to bounce back this fiscal year from a sharp fall in the previous one, thanks to strong demand from China and a rise in the price for treatment and refining paid by miners.  Europe's largest copper producer said on Monday its operating earnings fell 62 percent to 114 million euros ($157 million) in the year ended Sept. 30, with turnover down 10 percent to 12.34 billion euros.  It had said on Nov. 5 that earnings before taxes would drop by more than half due to weak copper scrap and acid markets, low metal yields, a scheduled maintenance shutdown at its main refinery in Hamburg, and modernisation in rolled product works.  "Although the first quarter will be strained by the large-scale shutdown in Hamburg and the restructuring of Business Line Flat Rolled Products, we are confident that we will return to a much better earnings level in fiscal year 2013/14," Chief Executive Peter Willbrandt said on Monday.  The company does not expect a loss in the first quarter of the new financial year, Willbrandt added at a press conference to present the company's results.  Aurubis proposed a dividend for 2012/13 of 1.10 euros per share, down from 1.35 euros the previous year.  "The global copper market will likely be characterised by good demand for cathodes (new metal) for much of 2014," the company said, pointing to continued strong demand from China.  "The copper price is well supported from the current perspective. Many developments show that it has upward potential, though the trend will be volatile overall."  Copper prices touched a six-week peak on Friday in a sixth straight session of gains as nervous investors bought back short positions before a U.S. central bank meeting.

Aurubis said it processed 2.2 million tonnes of copper concentrates (ore) in 2012/13 against 2.1 million tonnes in the previous year. Output of copper cathodes was unchanged at 1.15 million tonnes. Output of by-product sulphuric acid was over 2.1 million tonnes against 2.0 million tonnes in the previous year.  "On the raw material side, we anticipate a good market situation for copper concentrates, which are especially important for us, and therefore a good supply and strongly improved treatment and refining charges," it said.  Copper ore treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) are paid by miners to smelters to refine concentrate into metal and are a key part of the global copper industry's earnings.  Next year's benchmark TC/RC terms have just been settled between miner Freeport McMoRan and Japan's largest smelter Pan Pacific Copper at $92 per tonne and 9.2 cents per lb versus $70 and 7 cents respectively in 2013.  Willbrandt said he expected these levels to provide the basis for Aurubis' 2014 TC/RC contracts.  Higher TC/RC terms reflect the fact mining capacity has been expanded, while there has been little investment in smelting.  Aurubis said it was "less confident" about a recovery in copper scrap and sulphuric acid markets.  "A more favourable market situation for sulphuric acid is not foreseeable for the time being, and while we expect an improvement in the market environment for copper scrap markets, we aren't sure when this will take hold," it said.  Willbrandt said he was concerned at the European Union investigation into the discounts German industries get on renewable energy surcharges.  The company did not believe the discounts were a subsidy, he said. But the investigation created major uncertainty about whether investment in Germany can be made, he said.  Aurubis shares were down 1.4 percent at 41.27 euros at 1040 GMT, with Germany's MDAX index for medium-sized companies up 0.7 percent.

February 14, 2012 - Aurubis AG, Europe's largest copper producer, warned on Tuesday that a 40 percent rise in net profit for the first quarter was unlikely to be repeated over the rest of the year because of an uncertain economic outlook.  "We view the copper market as well supported despite economic uncertainties and expect volatile yet high ongoing copper prices," it said.  "On the sales markets, especially for sulphuric acid and copper products, we are confronted with the effects of subdued economic expectations and doubts regarding the further development of the financial crisis."  It added: "We do not expect the results of the very good first quarter to continue to this extent. Nevertheless, we anticipate a satisfactory annual result overall on the basis of this good quarterly result."  Aurubis said on Friday its operating earnings before taxes in the first quarter of its new financial year rose to 86 million euros, up from a loss of 21 million euros in the same quarter last year.  Aurubis earnings before taxes (ebt) were 190 million euros in the quarter ending Dec. 31, up from 135 million in the previous year. Net profit rose 40 percent to 136 million.  Quarterly revenue rose to 3.151 billion euros from 2.732 billion in the previous period despite a lower average copper price of $7,489 a tonne against $8,634 in the prior year.  The increase was largely due to the integration of the purchase of the rolled copper products division from copper group Luvata. Higher precious metal prices overcompensated for the declining copper prices, Aurubis said.  The first quarter saw a combination of positive factors in its major business areas, it said.  Copper concentrate (ore) throughput was well above the throughput level of the first quarter of the prior year, which was lower due to temporary plant shutdowns. Higher copper treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs), the fees paid by copper mines and others to refine concentrate into metals, were collected at the same time.  Higher sulphuric acid prices with higher sales volumes compared with the prior-year quarter had a "distinctly positive" effect on consolidated earnings.  Higher refining charges in copper scrap processing and increasing input quantities of recycling materials led to positive contributions to earnings.  Aurubis on Jan. 19 posted an 84 percent rise in full year 2010/11 earnings meeting analysis' forecasts following a good performance in its main business sectors plus a change in inventory valuations.

December 3, 2010 - Copper producer Aurubis AG Friday said that evening production in the flash smelter at the Aurubis plant in Hamburg was disrupted yesterday due to an unknown cause. The smelter was shut down in a controlled manner and is currently cooling down. There are no personal injuries or effects on the environment.  Preparations for repairs are underway and repairs are expected to take two weeks.  Aurubis assumes that the existing delivery obligations for copper products can be fulfilled. The capacities of other group sites are being flexibly utilised to supply the tankhouse in Hamburg with Anodes, the company said. The impact on the concentrate throughput and sulphuric acid production depends on the actual repair period and thus cannot be precisely calculated yet.

December 16, 2008 - Norddeutsche Affinerie AG and Cumerio nv/sa now wish to present the combination to the outside world. The new enlarged company will be called Aurubis. „The name represents all that unites us and makes us strong, our common passion for copper“, said Chief Executive Officer, Dr Bernd Drouven, today in Hamburg.   „Aurubis“ is derived from Latin and means „red gold“. „The name puts in a nutshell what copper symbolizes for us and our customers – a metal of extraordinary value. It is the oldest metal in the world and has always been the cornerstone for progress and civilization. This holds true even today: mobile phones, computers, electricity – nothing would function without copper. This special meaning makes us work with passion on our product. To us, copper not only glitters like gold, it is just as valuable“, continued Drouven.  Norddeutsche Affinerie AG’s well-known logo, the blue triangle, will not be changed. It has a long tradition and originally showed three metallurgical tools. It has been modernised several times in the course of the company’s 142 year history.  The official renaming under German commercial law will not take place until after the official resolution is passed at the Annual General Meeting on 26 February 2009. Until then the shares will also still be listed as Norddeutsche Affinerie AG.  The CEO assured that the new name will express the greater international importance of the company. At the same time it is also a commitment to the employees and the current production sites.

MTPD - Metric Tonne per Day           STPD - Short Ton per Day
MTPA - Metric Tonne per Annum      STPA - Short Ton per Annum
SA - Single Absorption
DA - Double Absorption

* Coordinates can be used to locate plant on Google Earth