QUEBEC – Montreal-based Orbite Aluminae, whose proprietary technology for extracting high grade alumina (HGA) from aluminous clay, bauxite and red mud without leaving any red mud residue, has modified its HGA technology to dramatically reduce the cost of extracting smelter grade alumina (SGA) from these sources, resulting in a 30% reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels, a 60% reduction in water consumption and an operating cost savings estimated to be in the order of 20% relative to Orbite’s revised preliminary economic assessment.
The efficiencies gained will allow the company to decrease the number of operational units required in various aspects of the SGA plant. Most importantly the operating and capital costs of the plant are will decrease. Orbite is confident that it will be a low cost producer of SGA and a leader of clean technologies for the alumina industry.
As part of the final design of the SGA plant, Orbite developed and incorporated a new proprietary calcination technique using circulating fluid beds that operate at lower temperatures and enables the heat generated from calcination to be reused in the hydrochloric acid regeneration system, thereby, reducing fossil fuel consumption by at least 30%.
The final design also reflects important changes to the acid leaching and acid recovery and regeneration systems. Water consumption has been reduced by 60% resulting in lower volumes of acid solution, these lower volumes automatically reduces the number of separation-crystallization and acid regeneration units required as well as the number of units required for the individual extraction of by-products.
These design improvements are anticipated to have a considerable impact on the plant economics since alumina calcination represented 55% of fossil fuel costs, which in turn represented 60% of all SGA operating costs
Read the series of white papers on the potential markets for Orbite’s technology including the production of alumina and extraction of rare metals from multiple feedstocks at OrbiteAluminae.com/en/technology/white-paper/.