Anode Production
Portland Aluminium produces anodes for use in the smelting process. 
 
Anodes are large carbon blocks which act as electrical conductors, allowing the smelting process to take place.  Portland Aluminium produces around 15,000 anodes per month which weigh approximately one tonne each.
 
Anodes are produced in an area of the smelter called the Green Mill and are made from petroleum coke, pitch and recycled anode butts returned from the smelting process. These materials are mixed together in heated containers and poured into moulds.  Once formed, the anodes are transferred to the carbon bake.
 
In the carbon bake, the anodes are placed in furnace and ‘baked’ up to a temperature of 1120oC over a period of two weeks.  The baking process bakes the pitch in the mix forming a solid block of carbon so they can withstand the extreme conditions inside the smelting pots. 
 
The Portland Aluminium Carbon Bake consists of two 76 section furnaces.  There are eight pits per section, so collectively there are 1,216 baking pits which can each hold 10 anodes.  Currently Portland Aluminium operates four fires per furnace.
 
The last stage of the anode production process takes place in the rodding room.  It is here that the carbon blocks are mated to a copper rod using molten cast iron.  The rodded anodes are then transported to the potrooms in trays of four to be placed in the smelting pots.