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Sustainability challenge of the aluminum industry: transforming wastes into products


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The work that follows is a contribution to the aluminum industry’s sustainability. It deals with the critical issue of solid wastes accruing to that sector. By-products from aluminum refining are solid wastes, liquid effluents and gaseous emissions. Each kilogram of metal produced is accompanied by three and a half kilograms of bauxite residue, commonly known as red mud. Current practice is to use decantation lagoons that are built with elaborate precautions for preventing environmental contamination. The aim of the present work is to investigate this pollutant within the perspective of current solid industrial waste technologies, and to study the practicalities for utilization and new processes. The very high ratio residue/end product provides a strong incentive insofar as the residue concerned does in fact offer numerous commercial opportunities. Thus the feasibility of converting the residue into a raw material is a real alternative to landfill disposal. Numerous industrial processes and technologies have been considered in relation to environmental legislation, industrial marketing, competitive processes and other factors. In conclusion the subject paper recommends a series of activities that would achieve transformation of red mud into valuable substances and substitute other existing raw materials without adversely affecting quality and the environment.

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Sustainability challenge of the aluminum industry: transforming wastes into products

  1. 1. The challenge of sustainable development of the aluminum industry: "turning waste into products” 1 Marcelo Suster- Ecouniverso Antonio Carlos da Cruz- RecAltech Presented at 6th International Aluminum Meeting- Brazilian Aluminum Assotiation- April/2014
  2. 2. Research and development of processes and operation of demonstration plants Aluminum recycling without salt: Tilting rotary furnace plasma; Stationary plasma furnace with circulating bath for electromagnetic pump. Power generation: Thermal processing of biomasses and waste industrial and urban.
  3. 3. Projetos Ambientais para o combate às mudanças climáticas Consulting Carbon Managment • GHG inventory • Projects to reduce emissions • Verification of GHG inventory • Product Carbon Footprint Socioenvironmental Responsibility • Study of benchmarks and metrics • Evaluation of supply chain • ISE, GRI, CDP, reports • ICO2- Carbon Efficient Index Sustentability Trainning • Workshops and courses • Trainnings in company Solid Waste • PNRS - GRS and Verification Plan • Technological Innovation in the Treatment • Recycling and Reverse Logistics • Transformation in Products
  4. 4. Work Motivation / "Cryolite Coal " 4 Electrolyte Coal skimming Cryolite Coal 20.000 ton USD 70/Mton Coprocessing USD 18/ton Sales (USD 1,400,000) + USD 360,000 Source: Elaborated by author
  5. 5. Aluminum: Sustainability Partner? 5 Emissions Energy Solid Waste Consumption Source: Elaborated by author
  6. 6. Sustainability Tripod 6 SSoocciiaall EEnnvviirroonnmmeennttaall EEccoonnoommiicc Source: Elaborated by author
  7. 7. Steel X Aluminum Solid waste generation 1 Mton of product 7 Steel 700 Kg Aluminum 3.500 Kg 1 Mton of product Source: Elaborated by author
  8. 8. 8 Steel Arcelor- Mital- 2012 Source: visited on 22nd/oct/2014
  9. 9. Global Aluminum Flow in Mton 9 Total de Produtos Estocados/em uso Desde 1888 586 .0 Produtos Acabados( output ) 40.4 Outras Aplicações 1.0 Produtos pré-fabricados e finais (input) 67.4 Sucata nova 8.6 Lingotes 68.8 Sucata Fabricante 18.4 Sucata Nova 1.4 Perdas de Metal sucata Velha 7.8 Outros 11% Engenharia 1.4 Não reciclado 3.5 Sob investigação 3.7 Bauxite 1.80 Resíduo de Bauxita 75 Água 38 Alumina 6. 5 Alumínio Primário 34. Alumínio Refundido 35. Construção 32% Transporte 28% Auto.motivo 16% Adição Líquida 2006: 24.4 Emabalagens 1% E Cabos 28% Total de alumínio produzido até Source: CRU 2013: 1.137 Milhões de toneladas Total volume of red mud generated over History
  10. 10. Brazil Situation 3o Largest Alumina Producer 8o Largest Aluminum Producer 10 3o Largest Bauxite Producer 3o Largest Bauxite Residue Producer Brazilian Alumina Production: 11 Million Mton Estimated Bauxite Residue Generation: 22 Million Mton Source: Elaborated by author
  11. 11. Working Lines with Bauxite Residue- BR Environmental safety of residue lakes/ landfills Dry generation Neutralization of BR Recovery of elements/substances Application of BR products 11
  12. 12. Goal: Collaborate with management of industrial solid waste, seeking the application of waste products Results: 1.Roadmap of activities for this application and 2.A choice of strategic direction 12 Technological Research Market Research Legal and Fiscal Suitability Business Process Residue Product Source: Elaborated by author
  13. 13. Application of waste from the aluminum industry 13 Source: Elaborated by author
  14. 14. Patents- BR Applications 14 Nº patentes 0 100 200 300 C04: cement, concrete, artificial stone, ceramic, refractory C10: industries of oil, gas or coke, technical gases containing carbon monoxide, fuel, lubricants, peat C21: iron metallurgy C09: dyes, polidires, natural resin adhesives, various compositions, various applications of substances F27: furnaces, ovens, kilns, retorts B03: separation of solid materials using liquids or tables C05: fertilizers, their manufacture E01: construccion de rodovias, ferrovias ou de pontes C03: glass, rock wool and slag wool A01: agriculture, forestry, livestock, hunting, capture in traps, fishing B28: manipulation of cement, clay or stone E04: building B22: foundry, metallurgy of metallic powders D21: the manufacture of paper pulp production C04 C10 C21 C09 F27 B03 C05 E01 C03 A01 B28 E04 B22 D21 Source: NIT- UFSCar
  15. 15. Potential applications identified Resíduo de Bauxita Sequestration of heavy metals Ceramic tiles Soil glass corrective Concrete Chemicals Pigment /Plastic filler Sinthetic steel slag Gallium Alo Red ceramic Sulphate Raw material cement flour Source: Elaborated by author 15
  16. 16. Attractiveness Matrix 16 Source: Elaborated by author Environmental Safety Concret e Soil Corrective Ceramic Plastic filler Sequestrant Glass
  17. 17. Cases Study Vidros Objetivo: Incorporação na matriz de vidro âmbar como matéria-prima. 17 Amber glass No residue With Residue Construction Concrete Standart concrete Red ceramic Soil corrective Concrete with BR Source: Elaborated by author
  18. 18. 18 SWAT analysis STRENGTHS Cost reduc on of residues disposal Addi onal cash with residues sales Decrease of environmental liability Use of current resources to commercialize the residues (sales force) THREATS Market reac on, dropping prices of the products that were affected by residue compe on Consump on market rejec on being due to using residues in the products OPPORTUNITIES Image gain and company trademark reinforcement Fiscal gains: green seal, less taxes, etc.… WEAKNESS Exposure to new poten al liabili es outside own landfill Exposure of the environmental management system Company Market Source: Elaborated by author
  19. 19. Market Forces Balance 19 NEWENTRANTS New companies hema te producers, cement, clay and limestone suppliers Suppliers INDUSTRYRIVALRY Hema te producers Cement Producers Clay Suppliers Limestone Suppliers TRENDS The buyerscanearnwith the op onsoffersincrease of rawmaterials. Cost decrease, anda green image. The final consumerscan earnalsowitha price reduc on of the final products. But onthe other hand, the consumerscan reject productsthat contain residues. BUYERS Glass producers Concrete producers Ceramic, agriculture and, at second level: final consumers Source: Elaborated by author Subs tutes
  20. 20. Legislative environment Transportation and disposal extensively regulated PNRS- National Solid Waste Polic Responsibility for the entire supply chain, including post-consumer 20
  21. 21. Search poten al applica ons for the residue according to their proper es Iden fying a poten al applica on for the residue Checking the opera ng license of the poten al customer Monitoring the 13 applica on of the test residue 1 4 Tax classifica on of the product Send the product safety data sheet To know the residue Physicochemical characteris cs Iden fying a poten al applica on for the residue Applica on in laboratory scale Measure the impact of the addi on of the tradi onal product residue Contact the environmental agencies in their regions of origin and applica on of residue License to transport waste Permit for biosolids applica on Iden fy a partner (client-poten al) Industrial trial marke ng 1 5 1 6 Remove the residue of the waste inventory, the company Put the new product in the descrip ve Memorial venture - MCE 11 22 33 44 55 66 77 88 99 1 0 10 11 11 1 2 1 2 1 3 1 4 1 5 1 6 17 17 1 1 8 Source: Elaborated by author 8
  22. 22. Valuation of aluminum / Cost Socio-Environmental Sale of waste Custo Sócio- Ambiental 22 Faturamento do setor Atmospheric emissions Generation of effluents Solid Waste Raw Material Energy Other inputs Workforce Services Replacing steel in transportation Energy consumption Durability of aluminum lengthens the life cycle of products Recyclability of the metal Waste Generation Source: Elaborated by author
  23. 23. Socio cost of aluminum 23 SOCIO COST OF ALUMINUM Source: Elaborated by author NEGATIVE EXTERNALITIES (energy intensive use + GHG emissions + waste generation + bauxite use) POSITIVE EXTERNALITIES (Revenue + fuel saving + recycling + aluminum long shelf life) = -
  24. 24. Conclusions The process of transforming waste into products based on their financial, environmental and social impacts, is a key factor in the change of positive and negative externalities in this way contribute to the aluminum industry sustainability; The literature is rich in studies of technological application for the RB, but little or nothing has turned into sustainable commercial activities; A roadmap of activities to transform waste into products is very important in directing the efforts of the aluminum industry; 24
  25. 25. Conclusions The targeting of efforts to transform the raw material into a RB to be sold in the market can not generate results; The aluminum industry should think about adding value to the RB within their own generating plants RB, transforming it into a product, before being transported; This paper attempts to serve as a gateway to an approach of applying RB broader, involving from the beginning trade and market variables. 25
  26. 26. Thanks to IPT- Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnológicas do Estado de São Paulo Alcoa NIT- UFSCar 26
  27. 27. "The world we will leave to our children depends on the children to leave the world" 2º Fórum Internacional Criança e Consumo Thank you!