Qatar – Sustainable Long Term Solution to Aluminum Smelting Process By-Products
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Qatar – Sustainable Long Term Solution to Aluminum Smelting Process By-Products

Project: Design Support for the Extension of Water Mains in Doha and Suburbs
Location: Mesaieed, Qatar
Services: development, implementation and managing sustainability initiatives, action plans, and projects; establish long term sustainable solutions to Aluminum smelting by-products and minimize waste; liaise with the steel and cement industries

One of the project main objectives was to establish a sustainable method to recycle the hazardous waste products resulting from the Aluminum Smelting process. The smelting process uses electrolysis to convert Alumina to Aluminum. This is done in large steel pots lined with refractory bricks and silicon carbide and with carbon cathodes and anodes. The linings in each pot add up to more than 150 metric tons. After about 2,000 days in service these lining materials and the cathodes become hazardous. At this time the pot must be relined with fresh materials and cathodes. The “Spent Pot Linings” must be disposed properly. Here, the objective was to avoid landfilling the hazardous material whenever possible.

The outcome of the project was two-fold:
– Successfully established a unique agreement with the steel factory in Mesaieed to use the carbon from the spent carbon cathodes in the steel making process.
– Successfully established a relationship with cement factories in Qatar to use refractory bricks in their process of making cement. The bricks provide a good source of needed alumina and silica. In addition, fluoride in the spent bricks is required in the cement process as well.