Goodtech has developed a technique for recovering energy from aluminium electrolytic cells. The system means that aluminium manufacturers and other energy-intensive industries can optimise production and reduce energy consumption.
The manufacture of aluminium demands extensive capital and energy resources. Aluminium is made from bauxite, which is a naturally-occurring ore. The ore is separated from other minerals by means of oxidation. The result is called aluminium oxide and this is what is physically fed into each production cell.
The cell uses electrolysis to produce aluminium in metal form. This means that large quantities of electricity must be used in order to refine the aluminium oxide into pure aluminium. The process also generates heat, which must be cooled. It takes 25,000 kWh of electrical energy to produce 1 tonne of raw aluminium, about 60% of which is used for the electrolysis itself.
Goodtech has developed a technique for recovering energy from the waste heat developed in the electrolytic process used for making aluminium, thereby reducing the specific energy consumption per kilo of aluminium produced. The accumulated waste heat can be used to produce electricity or as process heat for processes with a high energy requirement.
The technology can be installed in both new and existing production systems.