From alumina to metal: smelting
Smelting is the process of extracting aluminum metal from aluminum oxide (alumina) through electrolytic reduction. The fundamental component of a smelting operation is the electrolytic cell, or "pot" in which this reaction takes place. During smelting, large amounts of current pass through molten alumina dissolved in a 920 - 980°C cryolite bath. This process separates out aluminum metal for removal and casting. Smelters typically operate hundreds of pots, linked electrically in configurations called potlines.
 
We are the world's largest aluminum producer, with whole or partial ownership of 27 smelting facilities worldwide. Our largest smelter, in Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Canada, has a capacity of 438,000 metric tons per year (mtpy).



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Massena East


Tennessee Operations


This smelter produces enough aluminum sheet to make 100 billion beverage cans every year.
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Massena Operations


The longest continually running smelting operation in the world.
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