Aluminium - the Wonder Metal

Author: smith on 21-09-2013, 23:00, views: 2 030

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The ALSCON Project was successfully implemented during the administration

of General Sani Abacha GCON, Head of State and Commander in Chief

of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

 

The ALSCON Project was successfully implemented during the administrationThe ALSCON Project was successfully implemented during the administration

 

 

As an aircraft circled for descent at the Port Harcourt International Airport, 70 km South West of Ikot Abasi, numerous gas flares glowed against the night sky in the horizon. The scene arrested the attention of two passengers visiting the country for the first time.

'That is wealth being burnt away', one said.

'It is', confirmed the other.

The thought of putting a part of the gas to a more productive use set their minds ablaze. This was way back in the 1970's.

 

Category: Modern industrialisation: The Ikot Abasi aluminium

 

A Modern Metal

Author: smith on 21-09-2013, 22:00, views: 1 822

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On a site inpection in September 1993: (left) A.V.M. Nura Iman (rtd.), former ALSCON Chairman and Minister of Power and Steel; Arnulf Lokenhoff; Chief Don Etiebet; Alh. Hassan Adamu (Waklin Adamawa); and Peter Waschka, General Manager of ALSCONOn a site inpection in September 1993: (left) A.V.M. Nura Iman (rtd.), former ALSCON Chairman and Minister of Power and Steel; Arnulf Lokenhoff; Chief Don Etiebet; Alh. Hassan Adamu (Waklin Adamawa); and Peter Waschka, General Manager of ALSCONThe first few particles of aluminium were produced only ca. 170 years ago and the commercial production started 50 years later with the development of the Hall-Heroult process. This reduced dramatically the unit cost and brought aluminium within the reach of the general populace.

 

Considered a jewellery-grade metal in Napoleonian times, aluminium soon became a household word. With the advent of the aeroplane, it's lightness and strength-to-weight ratio made it ideal for production of motors and structural elements. Today, aluminium is the ideal material for all forms of aerial and space transport and its extensive use in construction and manufacturing of cars and trucks, make it clearly the wonder metal of the century.

Category: Modern industrialisation: The Ikot Abasi aluminium

 

Making of Aluminium

Author: smith on 21-09-2013, 21:00, views: 2 329

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ALSCONALSCONCommercial production of aluminium for over 100 years largely commenced with the mining of bauxite, an impure form of aluminium oxide which constitutes approximately 16% of the earth's crust. Bauxite contains significant quantities of iron oxide, silicon and other impurities generally has a reddish-brown appearance and is found in large quantities in most tropical regions of the world. It typically occurs as blanket deposits, at or near the earth's surface and is formed by the cyclical (wet-dry-wet, etc.) weathering of aluminium oxide bearing ores.

 

Major deposits are found today in Brazil, West Africa, Australia and Malaysia and for the most part, the crude bauxite is mined and shipped to other locations where it is refined using the Bayer Process to the purer aluminium oxide, called alumina.

 

Transforming alumina to aluminium metal requires significant quantities of electrical energy, and this conversion is carried out in large carbon lined vessels or electrolytic cells. Using the same principles as developed by Hall and Heroult in 1876, this process reduces the metal oxide to a molten metal. By dissolving the alumina in a bath or melt of cryolite (Sodium aluminium flouride) at 960 hC and using a consumable carbon anode, the oxygen component combines to form carbon dioxide and the aluminium left behind forms in a molten pool in the bottom of the electrolytic cell or vpot', as it is sometimes called. The metal is periodically siphoned off and cast into one of the many ingot or product forms as required by the customer or downstream process.

 

Category: Modern industrialisation: The Ikot Abasi aluminium