Practical Training Period in Pori
My three month practical training period was carried out as a process operator in Pori Site of the titanium dioxide manufacturer Sachtleben GmbH.
The Pori Site begun producing titanium dioxide in 1962 and became a part of Sachtleben GmbH in 2008 in a joint venture between Rockwood Specialties Group Inc. owned Sachtleben and Kemira Oyj owned Pori Site.
The Pori Site has approximately 550 personnel featuring shift workers keeping the factory running around the clock and daytime employees responsible for various duties. A special emphasis was placed on worker safety and specifically preventive measures. Everyone entering the factory area had to have an Occupational Safety Card and new employees received an additional safety lecture in addition to the job specific orientation. Inside the factory the use of personal protective gear was strictly monitored to ensure workers used them.
The Pori Site produces titanium dioxide and its side products such as ferrous sulfate in four production lines. The TiO_2 is produced using a sulfate process where ilmenite is the source material which is digested by sulfuric acid.
My responsibility for the training period was rationing ground ilmenite, concentrated sulfuric acid and waste sulfuric acid filtered to a concentration of approximately 70% to compressed air mixed chemical reactors. After rationing the acids and ilmenite I monitored the reaction between them ensuring the complex reaction fume cleansing system composed of three different types of washers stayed operational.
After allowing the recently formed solid compound to age a set time necessary to sulfate the oxides completely the compound was dissolved with various waste acids, water and in rare occasions the more concentrated sulfuric acids in order to dissolve the sulfates as quickly and as effectively as possible. Once the dissolving had been completed the now liquid mixture was pumped out from the reactor.
There were 22 reactors at the factory and I was responsible for operating approximately half of them while another process operator took care of the other half. We worked together as a team whenever a situation that was more for one of us to handle arose.
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