Russian Federation aluminium giant UC Rusal announced last week its receipt of a national award for its dry cleaning gas system (DGCS) in operation at three of its aluminium smelters.
Rusal received the Vernadsky National Environmental Award in the “Innovative eco-efficient technologies in industry and energy” category for the project, which was developed by a team from the scientific divisions at the SibVAMI (Irkutsk), RUSAL ITC (Krasnoyarsk), Bratsk (BrAZ), Novokuznetsk (NkAZ), and Irkutsk (IrkAZ) aluminium smelters.
The DGCS captures waste gases generated by aluminium production, allowing plants at which it is installed to trap over 99.5 percent of the hydrogen fluoride and solid fluoride gases emitted during its aluminium-smelting operations. In addition to providing a cleaner production process, Rusal notes that the system results in a significant savings in capital costs.
Viktor Mann, Rusal’s Technical director, noted the importance of the DGCS program to his firm in a related press release.
“The overwhelming evidence of both DGCS’ energy efficiency and environmental friendliness along with its positive effect on CAPEX allowed RUSAL to switch swiftly to the use of its own technology and equipment, replacing foreign analogues. Support for and recognition from the expert community of corporate efforts to introduce new technological innovations is always important. It provides an additional incentive to continue long-term research aimed at improving environmental performance and encouraging the competitiveness of the Russian aluminum industry, and consequently, the entire national industry as a whole.”
Rusal has been retrofitting plants with this technology for the past three years. At present the system is in place at the Bratsk (BrAZ), Novokuznetsk (NkAZ), and Irkutsk (IrkAZ) aluminium smelters, and plans are in place to have the technology installed at over 20 plants by 2025. The the project to add DGCS and transition the production process to Eco-Soderberg technology at the three plants mentioned above will cost the firm over ₽18 billion (US$242 million) through 2024.