Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Belledune Gypsum

As I mentioned a while ago, synthetic gypsum is being shipped by rail from Belledune to Saint John. I had the opportunity early this month to see the cars on site at Belledune. There were two blocks of seven cars on the one siding in the plant.

Here's a closeup of one of the cars, with the gypsum pile a pile of limestone behind it. The limestone is used in the scrubbing process to remove the contaminants from the power plant's exhaust.

Most of the cars were the same CN 198xxx series used to ship the raw gypsum from Nova Scotia to McAdam, but a few are gondolas.

Train 587 of the New Brunswick East Coast Railway takes the gypsum cars to Bathurst, where they get on NBEC train 402 to Moncton. There, CN takes them to Saint John on train 406, and finally NB Southern Railway delivers the cars to a location behind Irving Paper where they are unloaded.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi there traingeek. I love your website! I come to visit often. I grew up not to far from the tracks in the St-Leonard NB area. I just wanted to let you know that the pictures you have of the rail cars at the Belldune power plant, you are saying that the pile of rocks behind the car is gypsum. That stuff is in fact limestone. The limestone used in Belledune comes from the quarry in Sormany in behind Robertville.

The limestone is used in the scrubber to react with acid in the flue gas to make gypsum.

The reaction is something like this. The formula is not balanced.

H2SO4 + CaCO3 = CO2 + H2O + CaSO4*2H2O