, Volume 71, Issue 9, pp 2978–2985 | Cite as

Vacuum Distillation-Treated Spent Potlining as an Alternative Fuel for Metallurgical Furnaces

  • Nan Li
  • Yan Jiang
  • Xiang Lv
  • Lei GaoEmail author
  • Kinnor Chattopadhyay
Aluminum: Recycling and Environmental Footprint


Spent potlining (SPL) is a well-known hazardous waste from primary aluminum production, and recycling it as an alternative fuel for metallurgical furnaces is a promising application. However, because of the presence of volatile fluorides and fluoride compounds, there are significant environmental concerns and practical/engineering issues. An environmentally friendly technique involving pretreatment of SPL first cut at 700°C by vacuum distillation (VDM) is proposed herein. Using this process route, volatile and leachable fluorides (NaF, LiF, and Na3AlF6) in SPL first cut samples were successfully recycled. The distillation process was found to be beneficial for improving the fixed carbon content of the samples, and the combustion characteristics of the VDM residue were superior to those of raw untreated SPL. Such VDM residue could potentially be used in metallurgical furnaces and burners, with promising applications such as partial or full replacement of coal in pulverized coal injection (PCI) systems.



This work was supported by Postdoctoral Research Foundation of China (No. 2018M633421), Science Foundation of Yunnan Provincial Department of Education (Grant No. 2017FH001-120), and Initial Foundation for Advanced Talents of Honghe University (Grant No. XJ16B02).


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nan Li
    • 1
  • Yan Jiang
    • 1
  • Xiang Lv
    • 2
  • Lei Gao
    • 3
    Email author
  • Kinnor Chattopadhyay
    • 4
  1. 1.College of ScienceHong He UniversityMengziChina
  2. 2.College of Materials Science and EngineeringSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  3. 3.Faculty of Materials Science and EngineeringKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  4. 4.Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Cross Appointed to Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Process Metallurgy Research LabsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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