, Volume 64, Issue 8, pp 990-996

First online:

An Overview of Opportunities for Waste Heat Recovery and Thermal Integration in the Primary Aluminum Industry

  • Cassandre NowickiAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Université Laval
  • , Louis GosselinAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Université Laval Email author 


Efficient smelters currently consume roughly 13 MWh of electricity per ton of aluminum, while roughly half of that energy is lost as thermal waste. Although waste heat is abundant, current thermal integration in primary aluminum facilities remains limited. This is due to both the low quality of waste heat available and the shortage of potential uses within reasonable distance of identified waste heat sources. In this article, we present a mapping of both heat dissipation processes and heat demands around a sample facility (Alcoa Deschambault Quebec smelter). Our primary aim is to report opportunities for heat recovery and integration in the primary aluminum industry. We consider potential heat-to-sink pairings individually and assess their thermodynamic potential for producing energy savings.