Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 707–712 | Cite as

A Case Study of Variation in Aluminum Smelting Cell Thermal State with Control Implications

  • G. TandonEmail author
  • M.P. Taylor
  • J.J.J. Chen


The thermal state of an aluminum smelting cell is determined principally by the following parameters: electrolyte temperature and excess aluminum fluoride concentration. Despite the attempts to control them within a predetermined specification range, large variations are observed. The focus of the present study is to identify the causes of the variation and recommend the solutions to minimize it. The task was accomplished by monitoring an industrial operating cell. The Apollo root cause analysis technique has been used to identify the underlying causes of the variation. Smelter’s response of addition of AlF3 in order to control the variation was one of the primary causes. The AlF3 addition to the cell should be based on its mass balance requirement.


Cryolite AlF3 Interelectrode Distance Electrolyte Temperature Freeze Layer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    K. Grojtheim, B.J. Welch: Aluminum Smelter Technology, 2nd ed., Aluminium-Verlag, Düsseldorf, Federal Republic of Germany, 1988, pp. 44–118Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    M.P. Taylor, B.J. Welch, J.T. Keniry: Light Metals, AIME, New York, NY, 1983, pp. 437–47Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    M.P. Taylor, B.J. Welch: Metall. Trans. B, 1987, vol. 18B, pp. 391–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    M.P. Taylor: Proc. Molten Slags, Fluxes and Salts, 1997, pp. 659–74Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    M.P. Taylor, X. Liu, K.J. Fraser, B.J. Welch: Light Metals, AIME, New York, NY, 1990, pp. 259–66Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    J.N. Bruggeman: Proc. 6th Aust. Aluminum Smelting Workshop, Queenstown, New Zealand, 1998, pp. 167–90Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    F.J. Stevens-McFadden: Proc. 6th Aust. Aluminum Smelting Workshop, Queenstown, New Zealand, 1998, pp. 289–320Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    G.P. Tarcy: Proc. 5th Aust. Aluminum Smelting Workshop, Melbourne, Australia, 1995, pp. 139–60Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    E.S. Page: Technometrics, 1961, vol. 3 (1), pp. 1–9CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    D.J. Wheeler: Advanced Topics in Statistical Process Control, SPC Press, Knoxville, TN, 1995Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    H. Kvande and K. Grojtheim: in Introduction to Aluminum Electrolysis, K. Grojtheim, H. Kvande, eds., 2nd ed., Aluminium-Verlag, Düsseldorf, Federal Republic of Germany, 1993, pp. 214–31Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    G. Bearne, D. Whitfield: Light Metals, AIME, New York, NY, 2005, pp. 413–18Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    E.W. Dewing: Metall. Trans., 1972, vol. 3, pp. 2699–702CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    M.M. Hyland, E.C. Patterson, F. Stevens-McFadden, B.J. Welch: Scand. J. Metall., 2001, vol. 30, pp. 404–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    M. P. Taylor: Proc. 4th Aust. Aluminum Smelting Workshop, Sydney, Australia, 1992, pp. 720–32Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    D.L. Gano: Apollo Root Cause Analysis, 1st ed., Apollonian Publications, Yakimna, Washington, 1999, pp. 35–110Google Scholar

Copyright information


Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Materials EngineeringUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Light Metals Research CentreUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations