Presently China produces 50% of the World’s alumina and aluminium. Since the 1950-ies, about 35 alumina refineries and 60 aluminium smelters were built in China using domestic and imported raw materials. Consequently, there are multiple refinery technologies in China, e.g., high temperature and low temperature Bayer process, sintering process, flotation-Bayer process and sweetening process. Absence of high quality local bauxites and strategic reasons led to creation of unique technologies to process domestic low grade bauxites and non-bauxitic raw materials such as fly ash.
The most modern smelters are built in China. Due to energy price differences, primary aluminum capacity is shifting from the middle and the east to the north and northwest of China.
Implementation of adopted Aluminum Industry Norms impacts significantly on developing a greener aluminum industry in China.
Given the importance of China for the global aluminium industry, the International Committee for Study of Bauxite, Alumina & Aluminium (ICSOBA) has decided to hold its 2014 Conference & Exhibition in China.
ICSOBA was founded in 1963 to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and results of the work from different fields of research related to bauxite exploration & mining, and alumina & aluminium production. To that end ICSOBA has organized many symposia, workshops and conference in locations that are of interest for the global aluminium industry such as China, Russia, Brazil, India, Canada, Jamaica, etc.
By rotating the Conference venue, ICSOBA gives industry players from all regions an opportunity to participate in an international conference and the international community gets the opportunity to become familiar with all regions and their contribution to the aluminum world.
ICSOBA conferences are of a technical nature and include:
R&D and technology developments from scientific institutions and equipment technology suppliers
- Best practices on production increase, reduction of cost, energy or emissions
- Safety & environment.
With Chinalco or China Aluminium Corporation, as host sponsor of the conference, the premises of Chalco’s Zhengzhou Research Institute in Henan province would be the venue of ICSOBA-2014, just as in 2010.
Fig:1 ICSOBA 2010: Main Hall of Zhengzhou Research Institute Conference Building
During the conference, some exciting new developments will be presented such as:
- Coal gasification technology providing a viable substitute for expensive oil for alumina calcination
- Production of alumina from fly ash and low grade bauxites
- Utilization of bauxite residue and the latest bauxite residue handling and storage options
- Implementation of high capacity smelters in West China, which utilize next generation, high current aluminium reduction technology
- Increasing Chinese participation in international ventures as a result of limited availability of Chinese bauxite resources.
Zhongzhou Branch of CHALCO is the fourth alumina refinery in China; its construction started in 1987, and operation in 1993. It has the first flotation – Bayer alumina refinery production line for processing high silica bauxite and high sulphur bauxite. The Bayer process, sintering process and sweetening process are applied in the refinery with a capacity of 2,400 ktpa.
Fig:2 Zhongzhou Branch of CHALCO refinery that can be visited
Jiaozuo Wanfang Smelter is the first 300 kA prebake cell, which was researched and designed independently in China. It has a capacity of 420 ktpa and lowest energy consumption in China. The conference gives its delegates an opportunity to visit the smelter.
Fig: 3 Jiaozuo Wanfang Smelter that can be visited
ICSOBA conferences are characterized by their friendly atmosphere resulting from long standing relationships between colleagues from all over the World. During coffee breaks, welcome drinks, meals and cultural evening, which are all included in the program, one has ample opportunity to exchange professional experiences and discuss developments.
Based on the numbers in recent years, some 300 participants are expected – about half from China and half from the rest of the World. Many delegates and speakers have already registered for the conference, representing universities, R&D centers, producers of Bauxite, Alumina, Aluminium & Carbon as well as technology and service suppliers from China, Brazil, Russia, India, Gulf region, Europe, Canada, USA and Australia.
The author is the ICSOBA director for Internal & External Affairs and Chief Chemist at Alcor Technology in the Netherlands For more information on the event you can visit http://www.icsoba.info/icsoba-2014