Harper International, a global supplier of thermal processing solutions, has entered into a contract with Canadian based Orbite Aluminae to support the latter’s project involving two high temperature, high purity alumina processing systems.
High purity alumina is derived from crystals of aluminum chloride hexahydrate. The two systems that will facilitate this conversion process consist of a high temperature vertical furnace to enable phase transformation and a rotary furnace to eliminate calcinations or volatiles. The materials that Orbite processes lose 80% of their mass in the form of water and hydrochloric acid during the course of their conversion. The resulting by-products are corrosive in nature.
The corrosive derivatives and the need for high level of purity have been taken into consideration while designing the two systems and consequently, the vertical furnace features an alumina tube as the surface of contact with the alumina powder and the rotary furnace features a quartz tube. Orbite also carried out on-site testing at the Technology Research Center of Harper to identify the best furnace design that complies with their high purity requirements. The two high purity systems will enable Orbite to scale up from its existing smaller batch furnace. The Ignite program from Harper leverages the company’s expertise in aiding customers in expanding operations of advanced materials processing.
Orbite employs environmentally neutral technologies to produce high purity alumina, smelter grade alumina and rare earths and metals from numerous sources such as bauxite and aluminous clay sans the generation of the noxious residue of red mud typically generated in the conventional Bayer process.