Case Studies

 
These case studies illustrate how Alcoa is acting upon its commitment to sustainable development throughout the world. We are pleased with this progress, but look forward to achieving even more.

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Electrolysis pots
Electrolysis pots
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Electrolysis halls
Electrolysis halls
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2007 — Environment

Optimization and reuse in the Electrolysis sector

As part of a project to optimize the electrolysis process, the Deschambault aluminum smelter removed almost 300 metric tons of carbon dust from its pots. Carbon dust, which is considered a hazardous waste, is formed when small quantities of carbon fall into the electrolysis bath when anodes are being replaced.
 
The Electrolysis team decided to collect and save the carbon dust in containers until it had finished analyzing the various options for disposing of the material other than resorting to landfill. The team quickly concluded that the carbon dust was made up primarily of electrolytic bath and actually contained little carbon. It could therefore probably be recycled in the pots. Subsequent tests confirmed this.
 
As well as avoiding having to landfill 300 tons of waste and to replace an equivalent quantity of raw material (the bath), this initiative saved the plant some $60,000 in landfill costs.