Super powering solutions for more efficient aluminum smelting

Extraordinary strength, astonishing flexibility, incredible resilience, and striking good looks. No, we’re not talking about your favorite comic-book hero. We’re talking about another everyday champion: aluminum!

Aluminum and its alloys are widely used in a vast range of industries and for a number of applications. The application example is ranging from household appliances to power lines, and from car parts to aerospace components. Furthermore, demand is increasing globally – a trend we can expect to continue in the years to come. For this reason, it’s more important than ever to make aluminum smelting more efficient and sustainable.

The true cost of inefficiency

In recent years, as bauxite quality has started to decline, prices for raw materials have started to rise. Consequently, there is significant increased interest in sustainability topic. Since then, the mining industry has been working hard to make its processes more efficient and sustainable. And in few places is this more critical than in aluminum smelting.

With aluminum extraction being such an energy-intensive process, attaining the highest yield possible from your alumina source is critical to reducing your costs and lowering your environmental impact. Quality control and analytics tools in smelting required careful monitoring, regular calibration, and technical maintenance. Therefore, many have been searching for better ways to drive time, cost, and energy savings.

Big problems, small solutions

With Malvern Panalytical’s innovative X-ray diffraction (XRD) solutions, we need look no further. Our XRD tools can be used across the aluminum production chain to drive safer and more efficient aluminum smelting process – from ore grading, to analyzing refined alumina, to monitoring crystallinity. Especially in the area of electrolytic bath (potflux) analysis we have made an especially exciting innovation.

Our new XRD technique – combining AERIS benchtop XRD with Rietveld quantification – offers a highly efficient solution for potflux analysis. From preparing the test samples to reporting the results, this tool is a one-stop-shop for measuring and optimizing smelters. And the best part? It’s fully automatable and standardless. Meaning, you can get fast and reliable compositions for a range of materials with minimal user input. Simply load a sample – or let the tool do it for you – enter the sample name and start the measurement. And that’s it – you’ll have your results in as little as 24 seconds!

Smelting solutions are just the start…

By combining XRD technology with Rietveld analysis, we are blazing a path for safer, more user-friendly analysis and more efficient aluminum smelting. But we don’t stop there. Malvern Panalytical offers a range of solutions to optimize your processes throughout the aluminum production chain. For example, our X-ray fluorescence (XRF) tools, such as our Epsilon 4 mining and minerals edition, are effective to ensure that waste composition is within environmental limits, as well as checking for toxicity or impurities.

With these solutions and more, Malvern Panalytical drives the shift towards a more sustainable future for aluminum production. And if you ask us, these industry changes are nothing short of heroic…

Written by: Uwe Konig, Posted by: Malvern Panalytical (www.materials-talks.com)

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