Technoeconomic Assessment of the Carbothermic Reduction Process for Aluminum Production
In pursuit of the aluminum industry Vision and Roadmap goals, the Department of Energy has partially supported a consortium of Alcoa and Elkem in the development of the Aluminum Carbothermic Technology — Advanced Reduction Process (ACT-ARP), which promises significant energy and emission reductions. This report explores the progress of the ACT-ARP as a potential replacement for the Hall-Hèroult process in the context of several evolving Hall-Hèroult development scenarios. Considerable progress has been made and demonstrated, including new furnace wall designs integral to successful operation of Stage 1 reactor, operational characteristics of vapor recovery reactor and aluminum de-carbonization reactor, as well as significant modeling and simulation. Despite these considerable accomplishments, there are still formidable technical and economic challenges to overcome before the ACT-ARP can replace the conventional Hall-Hèroult process, such as slag and scale formation, metal and carbon quality issues, mini-mill operation, etc. All these and other issues will be discussed.
KeywordsCarbothermic Hall-Hèroult Mini-mill Wetted Cathode Inert Anode
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