07. August 2017 | Branche, Technologie, Anwendungen

Rusal invests in sulphate production

Russia’s aluminium producer UC Rusal has commissioned a two-stage gas treatment centre at the Krasnoyarsk aluminium smelter (KRAZ) producing sodium sulphate. The investment amounted to USD1.14m. Developed by the Engineering and Technological Centre of Rusal the new process offers numerous advantages: there are no liquid and solid waste discharges thanks to a two-stage gas treatment consisting of wet and dry gas scrubbing. Sodium sulphate is generated at the first stage, which is used in production of cellulose, glass, detergents and construction materials. The advanced process will make it possible for Rusal to stop building new waste disposal areas at KRAZ and save up to USD1.39m per year. Also, gas scrubber maintenance costs will be reduced.

The new treatment centre has already been tested and produced over 50 tonnes of sulphates. In addition, sodium sulphate has been studied in the laboratory of the Bratsk pulp and paper mill. The first sodium sulphate batch containing over 95-97% of base material is expected to be shipped to the mill in August 2017. According to preliminary estimates, Rusal can produce up to 5,000-10,000 tonnes of sodium sulphate per year.

“The two-stage gas treatment producing commodity sulphur at the Krasnoyarsk aluminium smelter is unique. Its efficiency exceeds 99.5% in terms of fluorine and 96.7% in terms of sulphur, whereas efficiency of similar plants around the globe is below 92%. Currently, we have started a similar project at the Novokuznetsk aluminium smelter. Our plan is to replicate the technology at the Irkutsk and Bratsk smelters,” said Viktor Mann, technical director of Rusal.