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Mining commercialization centre partnering with Norwegian company

Gupex technology uses propane to heat underground air
Gupex AS designs heat exchange systems, such as this one at Lundin Mining’s Zinkgruvan Mine in Sweden. (Gupex photo)

Sudbury’s Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) and Norway-headquartered Gupex AS have agreed to work together on the commercialization of new heat-exchanger technology in Canada.

Under the agreement, CEMI will provide Gupex with commercialization services for the technology, which uses propane to heat the winter air in underground mines.

In an Aug. 15 news release, CEMI said it believes Gupex’s technology could offer a “step-change” solution for the mining industry.

“Ventilation exhaust air from the mines is both warm and humid and therefore full of energy. This energy, up until now, has been released into the environment as waste,” CEMI said in the release.

“Gupex has a cost-effective patented method of recovering heat from this exhaust air and preheating the fresh ventilation air to the mine shaft.”

In operation for more than 30 years, Gupex specializes in design and installation of environmentally friendlier and sustainable heat exchangers and heat-recovery units for moist, dusty and corrosive industrial air environments.

CEMI said the Gupex technology results in a 45 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide-related pollution, in addition to a reduced environmental impact, savings in propane, and lower electricity consumption.

Incorporated in 2007, CEMI assists the mining industry in adopting industry innovations.