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Old 05-12-2018, 04:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Greener Aluminum

This is very interesting, and there are some educated comments as well:

Rio Tinto and Alcoa announce world

An aluminum smelting process that produces only oxygen as a byproduct. Conventional smelting produces a lot of carbon dioxide.


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Old 05-12-2018, 05:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How much have they made and how much does it cost?
Reminds me of the original electrolysis process used to make aluminum. Prior to 1886 aluminums value was worth it's weight some where between silver and gold.
It doesn't make any CO2, but it could make aluminum unaffordable.
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Read the article. I think they say is is about 15% cheaper, and possibly more productive.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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This new Aluminum smelting process requires 50% more energy. Which is already very energy intensive. We will have to wait and see if they start retrofitting and go into full production to find out what it really costs.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I figured if it worked as advertised manufacturers would be all over it like flies on stink.
So if it uses 50% more power, it's going to produce more CO2.
If I remember correctly the major cost of aluminum ore smelting is electrical power.
Starting to look like another case of more green washing to me.
If they are trying to bring back something the original aluminum making process it's going to use more like 2x to 5x the electrical power, not 50% more.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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"Vincent Christ" is a helluva name. So the piece does not really offer much detail on the process, so we cannot ask critical questions. What is the "proprietary material?" How much power does the process require? It seems like the O2 byproduct announcement could be substantially just marketing and a trick for environmental law in Canada or elsewhere. If the process is "green" and is done with "Mystery Material" in Canada, that might please Canadian officials greatly. But if the "Mystery Material" is quite dirty and gets produced in Vietnam or somewhere and shipped via diesel supertanker to Canada, then the environmental value overall may not be so great, no?
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What do they say about something too good to be true?
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
What do they say about something too good to be true?
"Marketing"

(Unless it turns out to be at least somewhat true when the whole supply/production line is revealed.)
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
I figured if it worked as advertised manufacturers would be all over it like flies on stink.
Give them time. They have a considerable investment in working plants, and probably would not adopt new tech until someone needs a new plant.

Quote:
So if it uses 50% more power, it's going to produce more CO2.
Not really. Aluminum refining plants are typically located where there's a lot of cheap hydro or geothermal power.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Electric foundries and electric smelters depend on cheap power at night. Usually hydro electric is cheapest.
That power could be off setting a combustion plant.
Since aluminum production depends so much on cheap power I don't see using 50% more power as being desirable.
The supporting power grid may not even be able to hand 50% more power.

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