Russian aluminium behemoth U.C. Rusal said yesterday it has invested ₽600 million (US$9.45 million) to carry out an eco-friendly modernization of Volgograd aluminium smelter’s (VgAZ) coke-calcining kiln.
According to Rusal, the modernization boosted the kiln’s output capacity by between 3 and 4 metric tons per hour to a new total of 12 metric tons per hour.
Overall, Rusal says the modernization will make VgAZ more environmentally responsible while increasing the plant’s coke calcinating output. Due to a change in handling the raw materials that go into the kiln, the moisture content is less than that of conventionally-handled raw materials, necessitating less fuel consumption for the same amount of raw materials.
Rusal also utilizes a new method for mixing elements that helps to ensure an even calcination for each layer of raw coke.
Due to the improvements made as a result of Rusal’s investments, the kiln now produces more calcined coke per hour while using less fuel than comparable coke-calcining kilns. In addition, the steam produced in the process is now captured and utilized to produce heat for warming the plant in cold months and for warming tap water all year long. Rusal also captures carbon-containing dust and returns it to the coke calcining process.
“The modernization projects conducted by RUSAL are not only aimed at achieving specific operational objectives, but also have a key role to play in improving the environmental profile of our plants,” explained Rusal’s CEO Evgeny Nikitin. “Improving and upgrading the calcining kiln at our Volgograd aluminium smelter fully conforms with these two principles, as it is part of a larger project to increase the self-sufficiency of the Company in terms of raw materials and to create a modern, energy-efficient and environmentally clean anode production.”