Planta Industrial de Agua Pesada de la empresa ENSI (CNEA), ubicada en Arroyito, Prov. de Neuquén
INVAP has built pilot plants, “bank” scale models and industrial scale facilities for several projects of variable complexity. Among these, we may mention the development of a zirconium sponge production pilot plant (1 ton/year) and the design of a plant to produce metal titanium. On the other hand, INVAP has developed an innovative method for heavy water production.
Besides, during the execution of the “Uranium Enrichment Project” carried out in the 1980s, all the stages previous to the enrichment were developed, including the complex process of production of uranium hexafluoride.
Another field in which the company has made significant technological advances is toxic effluent recovery and its reelaboration to obtain saleable additional product, while minimizing the remaining effluents.
One of the most remarkable examples of this kind of work is the ammonia absorption towers, which form part of the ENSI Heavy Water Industrial Facilities, owned by the Argentine Atomic Energy Authority (CNEA). This was an example of "retrofitting", that is, the reformulation of parts of a complex turnkey project previously developed by third parties.
Integrated heat transfer is achieved in the water-ammonia absoprtion towers. The design is based on a shell and tube heat exchanger, with vertical tubes. NH3 absorption-condensation is done inside the tubes, by a falling film mechanism.