Cross-fertilisation workshop

Towards a more sustainable alumina production in Europe

European Aluminium organised an online Cross-fertilisation workshop "Towards a more sustainable alumina production in Europe", in partnership with RemovAL and ReActiv, on the 23rd and the 24th of September 2021. 

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This two-day workshop presented the main outcomes from the relevant ongoing EU H2020 projects addressing the upstream part of the aluminium value chain, the alumina production. 

Alumina is essential in the aluminium production value chain. Approximately 2 tonnes of alumina are indeed needed for producing 1 tonne of primary aluminium. Alumina is a key raw material produced worldwide and at the European level. Globally, about 134 Mt of alumina is produced (IAI, 2021), of which about 6 Mt is produced in EU-27, i.e. approximately 5% of the global production. In addition to this domestic production, approximately 2.5 Mt of alumina needs to be imported to support 4 Mt primary aluminium production in Europe. 

On one side, this workshop presented how bauxite residue can be valorised, e.g.

  • via the various processing routes studied in the EU RemovAL project;
  • via specific valorisation concept in the cement industry as considered under the ReActiv;
  • via the benefits of extracting Scandium and other valuable REE and metals as addressed in the SCALE project and relevant projects (REEBAUX and RIS-RESTORE).

Potential alternative alumina production routes were presented on the other side, as studied by the EU AlSiCal & ENSUREAL projects. Additionally, the concept of industrial symbiosis was further investigated from a business model perspective as addressed in CORALIS or from synergies with the silicon value chain as studied in SisAL or from skills need perspective as covered in SAIS-SPIRE.

The main objectives of this workshop were to promote exchange and cross-fertilisation between those EU projects and the industry to foster new synergies. The ultimate goal was to identify the most promising routes to boost the industrial symbiosis and turn bauxite residue into a resource or produce alumina from alternative sources. 

For more information about this workshop, please email innovation@european-aluminium.eu.

 

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