Ana Flávia Lara is a chemical engineer with a postgraduate degree in mineral resources engineering. Ana has over 16 years of professional experience in mining and offshore petroleum projects.
Prior to working at Ausenco, Ana was part of a large company´s process team responsible for Brazilian off-shore oil and gas extraction. During that period Ana developed her interest in long distance and high pressure pipelines.
Over the past 10 years at Ausenco Ana has been part of the pipeline process team, developing innovative slurry pipeline projects. Project highlights have included the Usiminas iron ore and tailings pipelines, Anglo American's Minas-Rio pipeline, and Samarco's second and third pipelines. Ana's field experience includes commissioning, and operation. Commissioning highlights include Vale's Vargem Grande Tailings pipeline, Ferrous´s Viga tailings pipeline and the Usiminas pipeline in Itatiaiuçu.
Ana is also involved in solid liquid separation projects development where she is a key contributor to filter plant layout optimization. She is also working on best ways to optimise the interface between pipelines and filtration systems.
Her specialty areas are in the study of innovative technologies that enable pipeline projects with construction restraints to be developed with a low cost but optimal production throughput. The solutions developed by Ana are based on chemical interactions, caused by the addition of chemical additives (reagents preferably already used in processing plant, in other process stages) in the slurry, combined with simple lay-out changes. These solutions have been shown to bring about significant changes at low cost and short term results.
During the last three years, in parallel with pipeline process activities, Ana has worked on long-distance foamy slurry pumping. This work has resulted in two publications at international congresses for Ana and her collaborators. The first paper "Pumping foamy slurries - Chemical treatment for optimized operation" presented at Rio Pipeline Conference & Exposition 2015, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015. v. 1. and the latest “Pumping Frothy Slurries - Designing an Optimized System” was presented at the 20th International Conference on Hydro Transport 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.
In addition to the publications, one of the solutions studied by Ana (which reduces foam stability by modifying the slurry pH) was implemented by a large mining company in Minas Gerais, whose intention was optimizing an operating plant. After implementing this solution, which combines small changes in lay-out with reagent dosage, we were informed by the Mining Company that there was a significant reduction in the pumped slurry foam factor from 1.7 to 1.2. The reduction to 1.2 surpasses the desired 1.3 target result. With this result the slurry transport pump operates within supplier limits allowing the mining plant and pipeline to operate at improved capacity.