SciTech Connect

Title: Aluminum Carbothermic Technology

Aluminum Carbothermic Technology This report documents the non-proprietary research and development conducted on the Aluminum Carbothermic Technology (ACT) project from contract inception on July 01, 2000 to termination on December 31, 2004. The objectives of the program were to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of a new carbothermic process for producing commercial grade aluminum, designated as the ''Advanced Reactor Process'' (ARP). The scope of the program ranged from fundamental research through small scale laboratory experiments (65 kW power input) to larger scale test modules at up to 1600 kW power input. The tasks included work on four components of the process, Stages 1 and 2 of the reactor, vapor recovery and metal alloy decarbonization; development of computer models; and economic analyses of capital and operating costs. Justification for developing a new, carbothermic route to aluminum production is defined by the potential benefits in reduced energy, lower costs and more favorable environmental characteristics than the conventional Hall-Heroult process presently used by the industry. The estimated metrics for these advantages include energy rates at approximately 10 kWh/kg Al (versus over 13 kWh/kg Al for Hall-Heroult), capital costs as low as $1250 per MTY (versus 4,000 per MTY for Hall-Heroult), operating cost reductions of over more » 10%, and up to 37% reduction in CO2 emissions for fossil-fuel power plants. Realization of these benefits would be critical to sustaining the US aluminum industries position as a global leader in primary aluminum production. One very attractive incentive for ARP is its perceived ability to cost effectively produce metal over a range of smelter sizes, not feasible for Hall-Heroult plants which must be large, 240,000 TPY or more, to be economical. Lower capacity stand alone carbothermic smelters could be utilized to supply molten metal at fabrication facilities similar to the mini-mill concept employed by the steel industry. Major accomplishments for the program include definition of the system thermo-chemistry, demonstration of reactor stage 1, development of reactor stage 2 critical components in a 500 kW module, experimental determination of the vapor recovery reactor fundamentals, detailed design and installation of an advanced stage 1/vapor recovery reactor, feasibility of efficient separation of Al-C metal alloy product, updated capital and operating cost estimates, and development of computer models for all steps of the Advanced Reactor Process. « less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:OSTI ID: 838679
DOE Contract Number:FC36-00ID13900
Resource Type:Technical Report
Research Org:Alcoa In.c
Sponsoring Org:USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE);
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 20 FOSSIL-FUELED POWER PLANTS; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; ALLOYS; ALUMINIUM; CAPACITY; CAPITAL; CAPITALIZED COST; COMPUTERS; DECARBONIZATION; DESIGN; ECONOMICS; FABRICATION; FOSSIL-FUEL POWER PLANTS; METAL INDUSTRY; METRICS; OPERATING COST; POWER INPUT; SMELTERS carbothermic aluminum production process