Orbite Aluminae has finalized the design and process parameters for production of high purity and smelter grade alumina from the coal combustion byproduct, fly ash, by using Orbite’s patented alumina clean production technology.
The development in Orbite’s clean technology opens up new opportunities for producers of thermal power across the world.
The concentration of alumina in fly ash is in the range of 5% to 35%. Fly ash also contains other components like iron, silica, rare metals and rare earth elements. The concentration and constituents of fly ash are dependent on the original coal composition. Fly ash is the byproduct of industries which use processes involving coal combustion. The resulting fly ash has only limited options in terms of recycling as it finds application only in the cement processes. The industries that generate fly ash usually dispose them or store in reserves.
The Industrial Energy Agency estimates 41% of the world’s electric power to be generated from coal. Also, coal is the most commonly used fuel source in industrial thermal processes. The International Aluminum Institute (IAI) estimates that 43% of the alumina produced globally in 2011 was produced by employing coal as a source of fuel.
The new technology from Orbite is envisaged to be profitable. It can be used to extract alumina from different sources of fly ash with varying alumina concentrations that can even be as low as 15%. Preliminary assessment of the process by Orbite indicates minimum alumina recovery rates of 88% and 96% recovery rate for other components like hematite, silica and magnesium oxide.