Feasibility of a District Heating System in Fjardabyggd Using Waste Heat from Alcoa Fjardaal

  • Leo Blaer HaraldssonEmail author
  • Gudrun Saevarsdottir
  • Maria S. Gudjonsdottir
  • Gestur Valgardsson
Conference paper
Part of the The Minerals, Metals & Materials Series book series (MMMS)


The Alcoa Fjarðaál smelter in Iceland consumes 4600 GWh annually to produce aluminum. About 50% of the total energy absorbed by the cells is reduced to waste heat of which roughly 40% is currently lost through exhaust gases. The exhaust gases leave the cells at about 110 °C before entering the gas treatment center (GTC). The feasibility of operating heat exchangers upstream of GTCs has been demonstrated at other smelters. Reyðarfjordur, which is 5.5 km from Fjarðaál currently uses electricity for domestic heating, like other surrounding communities. Previous research has shown that the waste heat from Fjarðaál is more than enough to supply space heating for the local community. This paper will address the technical challenges and suggest solutions to deliver heat in a closed-loop heating circuit from the Fjarðaál plant to Reydarfjordur and estimate the total investment cost for the heat regeneration system.


Heat regeneration Waste heat Exhaust gases Heat exchanger Energy recovery 



The authors are grateful to the Alcoa Foundation for financial support for this project and to Geir Wedde for valuable advice. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the interest and input from Alcoa Fjarðaál, Fjarðabyggð, and EFLA Consulting Engineers.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leo Blaer Haraldsson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gudrun Saevarsdottir
    • 1
  • Maria S. Gudjonsdottir
    • 1
  • Gestur Valgardsson
    • 2
  1. 1.Reykjavik UniversityReykjavikIceland
  2. 2.EFLA Consulting EngineersReykjavíkIceland

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