- March 24, 2017
Aluminium dross is a valuable resource that is often redirected to landfill as there are no real viable solutions for the utilisation of this industrial waste. A study has been conducted to provide a recycling process where the dross is reacted with an alkaline solution in order to generate hydrogen with bayerite and gibbsite products.
Samples of aluminium dross were obtained from two sources: aluminium dross obtained from an aluminium recycling facility, recycled dross (RD) in Qatar and aluminous dross samples which were to be directed to landfill, landfill dross (LD), also in Qatar. Quantities of each sample were weighed in amounts that would contain equal amounts of aluminium reacting with an aqueous NaOH solution to generate hydrogen. The generated hydrogen has been analysed and compared with that reported in the literature.
Certainly, the lower purity sample LD was treated at a lower standard than the recycled dross. The LD and RD samples generated 0.15 and 0.5 g/l Al, respectively, with the landfilled dross achieving a maximum flow rate of 0.8 l/min compared to an RD which generated hydrogen at 2 l/min.
The results proved that both forms of aluminium dross possess the potential to provide an acceptable volume of hydrogen at relatively consistent flow rates. The RD sample provided higher flow rates, and the LD sample generated hydrogen at a lower but consistent flow rate for a longer period and at a volume rather close to that of the RD sample. XRD analysis of the resulting product also yielded promising results with the formation of bayerite and gibbsite, which would provide additional side products of market value; if this process will be conducted on a larger scale.
This study has shown very promising results, with both dross samples allowing for an acceptable production of hydrogen. It has shown that the utilisation of dross can be a potentially economically viable process for a product that provides clean, renewable energy and residual aluminous products of a real market value.