The aim of the proposed research project is to develop a new process reducing salt consumption in aluminium refining (3 times less salt), adapting the operating modes of the process to make this reduction possible and designing a new furnace with a much shorter cycle of 2 to 3 hours instead of 6 to 8 hours.
The research will be primarily geared towards finding out, measuring and improving the parameters relating to the use of molten or pasty salts for more economic scorification of the oxides. The work will integrate the aspects of oxidation of the metal, metal loss in the slag, melting rate and shortening the furnace cycles. The research will result in a requirements specification and a definition of operating modes with a view to subsequent construction of an industrial scale demonstration facility.
The following work will be carried out.
Measurement of the specific properties of molten salts, developing, in particular, the questions of viscosity and rheological behaviour of salt, oxide and metal mixtures.
Tests in a laboratory reactor of 5 to 10 litres, with measurement of metal recovery and salt consumption, with consideration of the reprocessing of corresponding slags and observation of the behaviour of other metals and other parameters. This will involve:
study of metallic aluminium, salt and oxide mixtures in the temperature range 650 to 900 C;
development of methodology and apparatus;
laboratory tests on capacities of 5 to 10 litres;
industrial laboratory tests on 50 L capacity;
industrial demonstration trials in a 20 ton furnace;
and analysis of results, design of a new furnace on the basis of thermal and metallurgical parameters.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts