Sara Rosendahl, Swerim

Reduced environmental impact from the aluminium industry?

13 November, 2020

Anodizing sludge as secondary resource in mineral wool manufacturing (AluKets-II), a new research project in Metallic Materials, can lead to reduced environmental impact from the industry.

AluKrets-II, a new research project within the Metallic Materials strategic innovation programme, focuses on the possibilities for utilizing anodizing sludge, a residual product from the aluminium industry. Disposal of this product is problematic and alternatives for its use must be found. The material is fine-grained and wet, but is relatively pure and consists mostly of aluminium hydroxide. In Sweden a small portion of this sludge is used in the production of water purification chemicals, but most of it is landfilled.

The project is a continuation of an earlier project, AluKrets, in which the aim was to determine losses of aluminium in the value chain from primary production to manufacturing of end products. AluKrets-II is a feasibility study and will investigate the technical possibilities for using anodizing sludge as a secondary raw material in the mineral wool industry.

With this application, all deposition of anodizing sludge could potentially cease. However, the properties of the material make pretreatment difficult, which poses obstacles both technically and cost-wise. In addition to use in the mineral wool industry, other alternative uses for the sludge will be investigated. Although landfilling of anodizing sludge is a well-known problem within the aluminium industry, use of the material in the mineral wool industry is a new and unexplored application area.

“The aim of the project is to produce information that will solve the question as to whether it is possible to use anodizing sludge as secondary raw material for mineral wool without negative consequences. It will be exciting to lead this project and I look forward to working closely with the industry on a project that can lead to reduced environmental impact,” says Sara Rosendahl, Swerim, project manager for AluKrets-II.

Facts

AluKrets-II will be conducted in close collaboration between Swerim, Hydro Extrusion Sweden, ProfilGruppen, Klarvik, Ahlins and Paroc. The project has a total budget of 1.96 million kronor, of which 980,000 kronor is funding from Vinnova.

/Photo/ “It will be exciting to lead this project and I look forward to working closely with the industry,” says Sara Rosendahl, Swerim, project manager for AluKrets-II.