The Norwegian aluminium industry will work together in this consortium to provide a sustainable solution to recycle the 25 000 tonnes Spent Pot lining yearly deposited in Norway. The project aim to reduce the carbon footprint of the process and generate a recycling process that can be fitted to any aluminium producer in the world. We aim to recycle 70% of the material as high value, and the remaining as a lower grade, but still usable detoxicated material. The fist step will be to qualify the recycled materials as raw materials.
New thermodynamic calculations and laboratory investigations have been done, confirming that the SPL can be cleaned. A series of pilot scale experiments has been done without achieving the expected results due to equipment challenges.
This project aim to develop a process that will produce valuable products from a material (spent potlining, SPL, from aluminium reduction cells) that is characterized as hazardous waste today and to a large degree deposited on landfill.
Today the material is to a large degree deposited on landfill in Norway. Existing methods available for treatment, like leaching processes to extract the toxic components, are costly, where the carbon fraction is burned as an energy source and does not avoid landfilling. This innovation will focus on material recycling and moving the process of SPL treatment from the lower third of the pyramid, where today's processes dispose, treat and recover the energy, to the upper part of the pyramid, where the processes recycle and reuse the materials without increasing the carbon footprint.
The planned innovation involves an improved process, based on a principle never demonstrated in large scale. The innovation will further give new and improved products compared to the original process described in the patent. The project builds on results from previous fundamental research and a pre-project that indicated a potential for the proposed process.