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Name of the student: ID No:


Hindalco Industries Limited, Renukoot

A Practice School- I station of


(MAY-JULY 2017)




Name of the Student ID No. Discipline

Srikar Renikindhi 2015B3A4558H Economics and Mechanical

Prepared in the partial fulfilment of the

Practice School- I course
Hindalco Industries Limited, Renukoot
A Practice School- I station of


(MAY-JULY 2017)


I would like to appreciate Nirankush Dutta, Instructor for the station and the
Practice School Division of BITS Pilani, for giving me this opportunity to get
hands on experience in a live industrial environment. I am also thankful to Mr.
V.N. Upadhyay, Technical Head of Smelter Plant, for making such excellent
projects available to the students of BITS Pilani. I am grateful to my project
mentor Mr. Anup Kumar, Technical manager of Smelter Plant, for guiding me
in every step. I would also like to thank Mr. Abhishek, Engineer at DSS, for
sharing his expertise with me. I am also grateful to the Mr. Sebastian P. Jose
and Ms. Sharmila Siddharth from Human Resources Department for being so
caring and cooperative with the students. Last but not the least, I would like to
thank God almighty for his blessings which helped me to persevere and work.



Practice School Division

Station: Hindalco Industries Limited Centre: Renukoot

Duration: 22 May 2017 to July 15 2017 Date of Start: 22/05/2017
Date of Submission: July 12 2017
Title of the project: To study and explore the mass and energy balance in the pots of smelter plant.
Name of the Student ID Number Discipline
Srikar Renikindhi 2015B3A4558H Economics and Mechanical
Name of the PS Faculty: Nirankush Dutta

Key words: Electrolytic Reduction Pot, Electrolysis, Smelting Operations.

Project areas: Applied Thermodynamics, Heat transfer, Computational Fluid Dynamics and Finite
Element Analysis.

Abstract: The smelting operation deals with the process of reduction of Alumina to Aluminium. The
process is based on the principle given by Hall-Heroult’s in the late 19th Century. The amount of
production is governed by Faraday’s first law of Electrolysis which directly relates current flowing
through the pots and the corresponding quantity of Aluminium produced. Therefore, increasing the
current would increase the aluminium production, however increasing the pot input ultimately leads to
the increase in the power loss and an increase in the temperature of the pot rooms. This projects aims at
studying various thermal losses involved in the process of electrolysis occurring in the smelting pots and
hence performs calculation on both energy and mass balance. Further, this discussion will also involve
some of the modifications which could be done to reduce the heat loss due to the process of electrolysis.

Signature of the Student: Signature of the PS Faculty:Date:


Table of Contents

1. Hindalco Industries…………………………………….6
2. Vision, Mission and Values……………………………7
3. Milestones……………………………………………...8
4. Aluminium Production at Renukoot…………………...9
5. Different Plants and divisions at Renukoot……………10
5.1 Alumina Plant…………………………………..10
5.2 Fabrication Plant………………………………..13
5.3 Services………………………………………....16
5.4 Boiler and Co-Generation Plant………..……….17
5.5 Reduction Plant…………………………………19
6. Theory behind the pot and process……………………..23
6.1 Extraction of Aluminium………………………..23
6.2 Pot cell and its functioning………………………24
6.3 Faraday’s Law……………………………………25
6.4 Current Efficiency………………………………..26
6.5 Mass balance……………………………………..27
6.6 Energy Balance…………………………………..30
7. Theoretical Values of Some Parameters…………………34
8. Practical Values of Some Parameters…………………….35
9. Differences between Theoretical and Practical values……36

List of Figures

Figure 1. Activity Mapping of Alumina Plant………………………………14

Figure 2. Individual Pot at Renukoot………………………………………..21

Figure 3. Activity Mapping of Reduction Plant……………………………..23

Figure 4. Schematic Diagram of an aluminium Electrolysis Cell……………25

Figure 5. Control Volume and Materials Flow……………………………….30

Figure 6. Material Inputs in a Smelter Process……………………………….31

Figure 7. Thermal Resistances representing the resistance in the cell………..34

Figure 8. Schematic representation of resistances in the cell………………….34

Figure 9. Energy breakdown in a Pot…………………………………………..35

Figure 10. Shell Heat Exchanger……………………………………………….40

Figure 11. Water Injection Principle…………………………………………….43

List of Tables

Table 1. List of theoretical values of some Parameters…………………………………………….36

Table 2. List of values of some parameters at Hindalco (Practical)………………………………..37

Table 3. Comparison of theoretical and practical values………………………………………..….38

Chapter 1: Introduction

Hindalco Industries Limited

Hindalco – a USD 15 billion flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group – is a leading producer of
Copper and Aluminium in India. The acquisition of Novelis in 2007, catapulted Hindalco as the largest
Aluminium Rolled Products Company in the world, and among the top five aluminium majors
worldwide. The company enjoys a dominant position amongst the aluminium manufacturers in India.
An integrated producer with low-cost alumina and aluminium facilities combined with high-end rolling
capabilities, Hindalco has a global footprint in 11 countries outside India.

Established in 1958, Hindalco commissioned its aluminium facility at Renukoot in eastern Uttar Pradesh
in 1962. Its three well-equipped foil rolling plants (Mouda, Silvassa and Kollur) give Hindalco a major
presence amongst the aluminium foil manufacturers in India.

With acquisitions and mergers with Indal, Birla Copper and the Nifty and Mt. Gordon copper mines in
Australia, the company strengthened its position in value added alumina, aluminium and copper
products, with vertical integration through access to captive copper concentrates. An industry leader in
copper, its copper smelter is the world’s largest custom smelter at a single location. Birla Copper also
produces a wide range of products, the by-products of which include acids and fertilizers.


“To be a premium metals major, global in size and reach, excelling in everything we do,
and creating value for its stakeholders.”


“To relentlessly pursue the creation of superior shareholder value, by exceeding customer
expectation profitably, unleashing employee potential, while being a responsible
corporate citizen, adhering to our values.”



1958: Hindalco was established on December 15th, 1958 by the house of Birla’s.

1962: Hindalco started its operations from Renukoot facility.

1967: Commission of Renusagar Power Plant.

1991: Beginning of major expansion program.

1998: Foil Plant at Silvassa goes on stream.

2000: Acquisition of Indian Aluminium Company Limited (INDAL).

2003: Acquires Nifty Copper mine in March 2003.

2004: Copper smelter expansion to 250,000 TPA.

2006: Announces 10:1 stock split.

2007: Acquisition of Novelis Ltd.

2010: Ranked 9th in Forbes Asia’s Fab Companies List.

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Process Mapping For Aluminium Manufacturing At Hindalco Industries Limited,

Bauxite from mines

Crushing of Bauxite

Digestion (Bayer’s Process)

Clarification (Bayer’s Process)

Evaporation Precipitation (Bayer’s Process)

(Bayer’s Process)

Smelter plant

Hall-Heroult Process

Made into 66,000 different products like flat rolled,
wire etc. as required by the customer. (OUTPUT) PLANT

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Different Plants and Divisions at Hindalco Industries Limited, Renukoot

This sections aims at learning about the various divisions and plants involved in manufacturing and
selling of Aluminium so that various process can be understood.

Alumina Plant
Alumina is produced from bauxite in alumina plant. It is produced according to Bayer’s process.

It was commissioned with an initial capacity of 40,000 MTPA, which has now increased, to 700000
MTPA. The plant has been expanded in phases using new technology from time to time for energy
efficiency and capacity enhancement. The major raw materials for the plant are Bauxite, Steam, and
Caustic Soda and Furnace oil.

The Bayer’s process is the principal industrial means of refining bauxite to produce alumina. Bauxite
contains only 30–54% aluminium oxide, (Alumina), Al2O3, the rest being a mixture of silica, various
iron oxides, and titanium dioxide .The aluminium oxide must be purified before it can be refined to
aluminium metal.

The whole plant is divided into two areas namely RED Area and WHITE Area. RED Area has three
units namely Slurry Mix, Digestion and Clarification. WHITE Area has three units namely Precipitation,
Evaporation and Calcination. Activities of various units are explained below

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Units Activities

Digestion I Treatment of Bauxite with NaOH to get the

soluble complex of Aluminium.

Digestion II The complex is dissolved in water to get

Aluminium Hydroxide and NaOH is reused.

Clarification Slurry from blow off tank is passed to High

Rate Decanter (HRD) where it is mixed with
polymer which helps in quick sedimentation.

Precipitation It is the recrystallization of soluble aluminium

complex to separate it from caustic.

Calcination Removal of hydrate molecules from aluminium


Evaporation Evaporation is used for concentrating spent

liquor coming from the precipitation area.

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Fig1. Activity Mapping of Alumina Plant

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Fabrication Plant

Hindalco Industries Limited is a premium semi-fab producer i.e. it is a company that produces fabricated
products for its customers and these customers then use these products to further manufacture other
products to sell to the end customer.

HINDALCO has 66,000 SKUs (stock keeping units) a stock keeping unit is basically different variety of
products available. For example, if Lays sells 4 flavour of chips each having three different packing’s of
5 bucks, 10 bucks and 20 bucks. Then this implies it has 4*3 = 12 stock keeping units. It also has three
different SBUs (strategic business unit) namely Flat Rolled Products (FRP), Extrusion and Wire rod.

Some of the fabrication process are milling, drilling, turning, tapping, shearing and rolling.

The major profitable product of Hindalco is RD 40 which is manufactured for defence sector. Hindalco
Renukoot is a B2B unit. It is largest producer of FRP in the world. Rolled products are produced at
99,000 MTA, extrusion at 33,000 MTA and Wire rods at 98,000 MTA.

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Cast House/
Re-melt Shop

Coils Billets Slabs

Hot Rolling
Soaking Pit Scalper

Sitting Line

Cold Rolling Annealing

Mill Furnace Cut to Length

Circle Banking

Customer Ware House

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Various Departments in Fabrication plant and their activities:

Department Activity

Cast House It produces high quality ingots through melting.

Alloy ingots of various grades are produced and
mainly used for the production of casting in the
auto and electrical applications.

Re-melt Shop It covers billets and extrusion press, so it is the

process of making desired shapes by forcing the
metal to flow through desired die under pressure
in plastic stage.

Billet casting It is used to produce billets which then undergo

same extrusion processes as in the Re-melt Shop.
Only the first step is different in Re-melt Shop
and Billet casting.

Properzi This is a continuous casting and rolling process.

Molten metal from pot-room and process scrap is
charged in melting cum holding furnace.
Alloying, flexing, degassing is done in the
furnace. Prepared metal is fed into peripheral
groove of water-cooled rotating circular casting

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Services department is the support unit for various plants and divisions of Hindalco
Renukoot. It is responsible for repairing instruments, providing transport, providing
vehicles and painting. Its activities are briefly explained as below.


Internal Foundry and

Auto Repair Shop Refractory Plant Painting
Transport Pattern Shop

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Boiler and Co-Generation Plant

It is a combination of a heat and a power plant. Boilers are water heaters fuelled by gas or
oil. They achieve high efficiency (typically greater than 90% on the higher heating value)
by condensing water vapour in the exhaust gases and so recovering its latent heat of
vaporization, which would otherwise have been wasted.

In a conventional boiler, fuel is burned and the hot gases produced are passed through a
heat exchanger where much of their heat is transferred to water, thus raising the water’s

One of the hot gases produced in the combustion process is water vapour (steam), which
arises from burning the hydrogen content of the fuel. A condensing boiler extracts
additional heat from the waste gases by condensing this water vapour to liquid water,
thus recovering its latent heat of vaporization. A typical increase of efficiency can be as
much as 10-12%. While the effectiveness of the condensing process varies depending on
the temperature of the water returning to the boiler, it is always at least as efficient as a
non-condensing boiler. Aluminium alloys and stainless steel are most commonly used at
high temperatures. In low temperature areas, plastics are the most cost effective. The
production of condensate also requires the installation of a heat exchanger condensate
drainage system. In a typical installation, this is the only difference between a condensing
and non-condensing boiler.

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Details of Boilers in Renukoot:

Boilers Type Capacity Temperature Pressure Year of

(0C) (Kgf/ Start

Boiler 1 Front Firing 80 TPH 450 52.5 1986

Fuel Fired
Boiler 2 AFBC type 80 TPH 450 52.5 1989

Boiler 3 Tangential 140 TPH 535 111 1997

Fuel Fired
Boiler 4 Tangential 150 TPH 535 111 2004
Fuel Fired

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Reduction Plant

Our project is related to reduction plant. In this section a brief introduction to reduction plant is done and
in the next section the project work will begin.

Reduction plant is the section where the production of Primary Aluminium metal and some value added
products are carried out. Pot room is the major section of Reduction plant where Primary Aluminium is

Fig2. Individual Pot at Renukoot

The main process used here is the Hall and Heroult Process.

The Hall–Heroult process is the major industrial process for smelting aluminium. It involves dissolving
aluminium oxide (alumina) (obtained most often from bauxite, aluminium's chief ore, through the Bayer
process) in molten cryolite, and electrolysing the molten salt bath, typically in a purpose-built cell.

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Overall Reaction:
Al2O3 + 3/2 C 2 Al + 3/2 CO2

Aluminium produced via the Hall–Heroult process, in combination with cheaper electric power, helps
make aluminium (and incidentally magnesium), an inexpensive commodity rather than a precious metal.

The main components of reduction plant are pot rooms, carbon plant, reduction technical, smelter
computer and maintenance services.

INPUT: - Alumina Powder from Alumina plant.

OUTPUT: - Molten Aluminium Metal.

CAPACITY: - 4, 50, 000 TPY

Associated with the reduction plant is the Carbon plant which is used to make pre baked anode for the
aluminium smelters. The Carbon plant can be considered as sub unit of the Reduction plant.

During the Hal-Heroult’s process the Carbon gets consumed and exists the control volume as Carbon
dioxide gas and hence the anode must be renovated periodically.

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Fig3. Activity mapping of Reduction Plant

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Activities of Various departments in Reduction Plant:

Department Activities
Electrolysis in Pot Lines Electrolysis of alumina with carbon rod
as anode, to obtain aluminium metal
(Bayer’s Process).

Anode Setting Replacement of spent anodes (butts) with

new anodes.
Anodes are changed on a routine
schedule to a set pattern

Metal Tapping Cruces with siphon tip and compressed

air to create vacuum.

Anode Rodding Cleaning and breaking of spent anodes.

Cast Iron thimble breaking and copper
bar preparation. Pouring of cast iron all
around the stub. Damaged assemblies are
repaired for reuse.

Butt Removal Breaking of the crust surrounding the old

anode through crust breaker.

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Chapter 2: Theory behind the pot and process

Extraction of Aluminium

Aluminium is extracted from Alumina through Hall-Heroult process. It is an electrolysis

process with Carbon as anode and steel container as cathode. Cryolite (Na3AlF6) is used
as an electrolyte in this process. It has the capability of dissolving alumina. The anodes
are immersed into the electrolyte carrying electrical current which then flows into the
molten cryolite containing dissolved alumina. As a result, the chemical bond between
aluminium and oxygen in the alumina is broken and the aluminium is deposited at the
bottom of the cell. The oxygen gets reacted with carbon to produce carbon dioxide
bubbles (CO2). The process is described by the below reaction:

Fig4. Schematic Diagram of an aluminium Electrolysis Cell

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Pot cell and its functioning

The reduction takes place in a big vessel called pot cells. The pot cells are arranged in
series and are called as pot lines. The pot cell is made of several parts designed altogether

 Act as a container for the molten bath and aluminium.

 Resist to high temperatures of the molten liquid.
 Resist to the chemical attacks brought especially by the molten electrolyte
 Resist to wearing caused by alumina abrasive behaviour.
 Reduce heat losses to a technical and economical optimal minimum.
 Be mechanically enough resistant but also with sufficient elasticity in order to
accommodate for the thermal and physical expansion of the material it contains.
 Collect the electrical current from the anodes with a minimum voltage drop.

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Faraday’s Law

The amount of Aluminium production is governed by Faraday’s First law of Electrolysis, which states
“that the amount of current passed through an electrode is directly proportional to the amount of material
liberated from it”. Therefore the amount of Aluminium deposited at the cathode will be directly
proportional to the quantity of charge pass though the electrodes

AT CATHODE: Al3+ + 3e- → Al (molten)

AT ANODE: O2- → 1/2O2 + 2e-

The Oxygen gas so liberated at anode combines with the Carbon anode forming carbon monoxide and
carbon dioxide, according to the following reactions:

C + O2 → CO2

C + 1/2O2 → CO

Hence, the overall electrolysis reaction can be summarized in the two reactions as given below:

 2Al2O3 + 3C → 4Al + 3CO2

 2Al2O3 + 6C → 4Al + 6CO

Applying Faraday’s first law of Electrolysis to the net reaction, we do the following calculations:

The reactions involves the exchange of 6 mole electrons for the production of 2 moles of Aluminium,

2 moles of aluminium = 2x (Atomic Weight of Al) = 2x (26.98) gm

Hence 6 moles of electrons means,

6x 96485 coulombs = 578910 coulombs

578910 coulombs of charge produces = 53.96 gm

Therefore on coulomb charge produced = 53.96 gm / 578910 coulombs

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Therefore, a current of I amperes flowing through the smelter plant for t time produces = 53.96x
It / 578910

Therefore, per day it produces,

Put t = 24x 60 x60

= 8.048 I gm of Aluminium, for current I

This is the theoretical amount production of Aluminium as predicted by Faraday’s law of electrolysis.

Current Efficiency

However, in practice the amount of Aluminium produced is less than as predicted by Faraday’s law,
therefor we introduce a term called Current Efficiency to major this loss,

The Current Efficiency is defined as the ratio of the actual amount of material deposited at the electrodes
to the theoretical amount which should be deposited,

𝐴𝑐𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝐴𝑚𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑑𝑒𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑒𝑑

𝐶𝑢𝑟𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝐸𝑓𝑓𝑖𝑐𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑦 =
𝑇ℎ𝑒𝑜𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑎𝑚𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑏𝑒 𝐷𝑒𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑒𝑑

The parameter Current Efficiency is an important parameter while measuring the performance of an
Electrolytic cell.

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Mass Balance

This section deals with the mass balance importance, methods adopted and theoretical calculations of
some materials related to the smelting process of aluminium. A mathematical model/formulation has
been made for calculating the values. Here weight is taken as the basis for development because in
industrial point of view mole-basis is less important. It is calculated based on first law of
thermodynamics. It is applied for steady state process.

The aim of this mass balance is to estimate the in-flow and out-flow of the materials in the pot. It is an
application of law of conservation of mass. It means that in an isolated system the mass remains constant
irrespective of the changes occurring in the system. The following equation describes in words the
principle of general material balance applicable to processes both with and without chemical reactions.

(Accumulation of mass within the system)= (Input through system boundaries) -

(Output through system boundaries)

As we have considered the system to be in steady state, the accumulation of mass becomes 0. So, the
equation reduces to

(Input) = (Output)

The above equation is applicable to batch process. In smelter plant the inputs and outputs are added
continuously so the process is a continuous process. In such a process one has to consider the rate of
input and rate of output of materials. So the equation can be written as

(Rate of input) = (Rate of output)

For calculating the values we need to consider a bounded system. Here we followed control volume
approach. It comprised the entire hooded cell, allowing the cell gases to cross the control volume. The
below figure depicts the control volume considered and all the necessary materials that are present in the

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Fig5. Control Volume and materials flow

Material Inputs:

This section deals with the list of materials that are being fed into the pot for the reduction process.

 Alumina: It is the major constitute in the production process.

 Dry Scrubbing gases: Some of the gases like HF that are released after the process are brought
back into the pot. They improve the quality of aluminium.
 Impurities in Alumina: The major impurities are caustic soda, calcium oxide, humidity and AlF3.
 AlF3: Added to lower the melting point of the bath.
 Na2CO3: To neutralize the actions of Aluminium fluoride.
 Carbon anode: Anode for the electrolysis process.
 Anode Cover addition: During removal anode there is addition of dressing cover.
 Pot room air drawn into cell: Air is drawn into the pot due to the negative pressure present under
the cell hood.

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Fig6. Material Inputs in Smelter Process

Material outputs:

This section deals with the list of materials that are exited from the pot.

 Aluminium: The major output of the process.

 Spent anode removal: Pole and remaining part of the anode.
 Cathode surface cleaning: Cell cavity is cleaned during the anode removal.
 Bath tapping: Bath is removed in regular intervals.
 Cell emissions: Gases that are emitted in the process.

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Energy Balance

The process that takes place in the pot is an electrochemical process. So, it follows the first law of
thermodynamics. The energy equation can be represented as below

Qac = Qin – Qout

Here Qac is the heat accumulated, Qin is the heat input and Qout is the heat output. As said before, the
reduction process is a steady state process. So, Qac is 0. The equation reduces to

Qin = Qout

The only energy we input in the pot is the electrical energy. So Qin will be Wel. Now this energy is
partially utilized for the aluminium production and remaining is dissipated as heat. So Qout will be equal
to ∆U+ p∆V + QD. So the equation reduces to

Wel = ∆U+ p∆V + QD

The above equation tells us the energy is utilized in three forms. First in the increment of internal energy
of the products (∆U). Second for Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide to expand under the
atmospheric pressure (p∆V). Finally it is dissipated in the form of heat (QD). But we know that ∆U+
p∆V = ∆H. So the equation will be

Wel = ∆H + QD

Now by considering an electrolyte saturated with alumina, Pressure at 1 atm, Temperature at 9770 C and
current efficiency of ‘x’, we get the following value

∆H = ( ) + 4.91 kWh. (Kg Al)-1

For the same reaction the Gibbs free energy comes out to be

∆G = (378.4 − ) kJ. (Mol Al)-1

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For an ideal case the value of ∆H is 6.34 kWh. (Kg Al)-1 and ∆G is 342.3 kJ. (Mol Al)-1. The difference
gives the value of T∆S which is 274.02 kJ. (Mol Al)-1. This is the heat taken from the external
environment for the reaction. In the pot cell, the bath itself is the external environment. But the bath
cannot give indefinitely heat to the reaction. So we need to spend the energy for this purpose too.

Energy Source: Cell voltage and Line Current:

The pots in Renukoot draw current from Renusagar Power Plant. 70 kA of current is passed with 4 V of
voltage difference between each pot. Rectifiers are set up to convert the AC current to DC current.

Energy Sink associated with Mass balance:

The change in enthalpy of the substances can be calculated by thermodynamic equations. The enthalpy
associated with a certain mass of a substance at temperature T is given by the below equation

Hi (T) = ∆f H0298 + ∫𝑇 Cp(T)𝑑𝑇

Here in the control volume, there are many substances with their own enthalpies. The net equation can
be written as

Heat losses to environment:

In the steady state process, the heat losses can be represented using a thermal resistance model. It can be
represented by 2 parallel series of thermal resistances, connecting the bath temperature and the
environment temperature. It is can be shown by a 3-zone description, where the heat flowing through top
leaves through the cell at duct temperature.

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The below figure shows the thermal resistance model. There are three groups. First group is for the
ledge and cell walls. Second group is for the bottom heat flow without ledge. Third group is for the top
heat losses.

Fig7. Thermal Resistances representing heat losses in the cell

Fig8. Schematic representation of resistances inside the cell.

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Here “R” is thermal resistance, subscripts define the resistance position: “W” stands for wall, “M” is
metal level, “B” is bath level, “h” is convective resistance at fluid solid interfaces, “C” is cathode panel,
“A” is anode panel, “S” is sidewall and “E” end wall. For simplicity, wall resistances are represented as
“RW” as the sum of solid conductive resistance and external natural convection resistance around the

First series of resistances conducts a certain heat flow “Q1” through the regions covered by frozen bath.
In this region, this heat Q1 plays an important role. It is the driving force for determining the heat flow
and the ledge thickness. Second series of resistances conducts a heat flow of “Q2” through the anode
panel. Third series of resistances conducts a heat flow of “Q3” through the cathode blocks. The heat flow
for cell bottom is proportional to differences of temperature between liquid bath and environment
whereas the heat flow for cell top is proportional to the differences of temperature between liquid bath
and duct temperature. Thermal resistances at anode panel are not constant, due to cover variation.
Liquid’s temperature is a function of bath chemistry. Bath temperature is calculated considering heat
generation and losses, cell voltage and Anode Cathode Distance (ACD).

For normal cell, the energy breakdown can be depicted as below. Here the current is taken as 180.7 kA

Fig9. Energy breakdown in a pot

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Theoretical Values of some parameters

Some of the parameters like Alumina requirement, Carbon Dioxide production are
calculated based on the stoichiometric equations. All the values have been calculated for
1000 Kg of Aluminium.

S.No Parameter Theoretical Value

1. Specific Energy Consumption 6340 kWh

2. Specific Carbon Consumption 333 kg

3. Alumina 1889 kg

4. AlF3 14kg

5. Carbon monoxide 222 kg

6. Carbon dioxide 1048 kg

7. Total carbon content emission 1270 kg

8. Voltage 0.94 V

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Values of Cell Parameters at Hindalco, Renukoot

Some of the important cell parameter’s values have been collected from Smelter Plant.
All these values are calculated for 1000 kg of Aluminium.

S.No Parameter Practical Value

1. Specific Energy Consumption 6430 kWh

2. Specific Carbon Consumption 420 kg

3. Alumina 1940 kg

4. AlF3 16 kg

5. Carbon monoxide Not Measured

6. Carbon dioxide Not Measured

7. Total carbon content emission 1500 kg

8. Voltage 4.3 V

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Differences between Theoretical and Practical Values
The below shows the difference between some important parameters.

S.No Parameter Theoretical Practical Difference Percentage

Value Value Difference

1. Specific Energy 6340 kWh 6430 kWh 90 kWh 1.42%


2. Specific Carbon 333 kg 420 kg 87 kg 26.13%


3. Alumina 1889 kg 1940 kg 51 kg 2.70%

4. AlF3 14kg 16 kg 2 kg 14.29%

5. Total carbon 1270 kg 1500 kg 230 kg 18.11%

content emission

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Reasons for the differences
Theoretical Mass Input = 2284.3 kg Practical Mass Input = 2375.75 kg
Theoretical Mass Output = 2272.14 Practical Mass Output = 2502.35 kg
% Error in Mass Balance = 0.5323 % Percentage Error = 5.33 %

Hence, we see that there is a mass mismatch in the above illustration. The theoretical mass balance
provides much accurate estimates as compared to practical mass balance.

The prime factors which lead to this imbalance are associated with various losses and other unwanted
process which go side by side.

Major error is reported in case of Carbon consumption because the anodes are readily oxidized by air
and therefore the actual consumption is higher. Carbon Consumption error directly relates to the error in
Carbon dioxide and Carbon Monoxide emission.

Since all our calculations were done taking 1000 kg of Aluminum as base hence we don’t expect any
error in the estimation of Aluminum Production.

Error in Alumina Consumption Estimation:-

1) Alumina contains impurities like Na2O, CaO, LOI and moisture.
2) Lot of AlF3 and Al metal re-oxidized to Alumina.

Error in Carbon Consumption Estimation:-

1) Aerial Oxidation of Carbon takes place, which eventually increases the Carbon Consumption.
2) Some amount of Carbon remains unused and is removed as anode butt.

Error in AlF3 Consumption Estimation:-

1) AlF3 is also consumed in side reactions.
2) The exact quantity of AlF3 which reacts with humidity and moisture to form Hydrogen Fluoride
gas is controversial since humidity depend on weather and certain other factors.

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Error in Total Carbon Content Emission

1) Aerial Oxidation which leads to oxidation of Carbon to Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide.
2) Some quantity of air is also sucked from the atmosphere into the fumes tubes which leads to this
significant amount of error.

Error in Hydrogen Fluoride Emission

1) Direct consequence of difficulty of measurement of humidity around the pot.

Here we conclude Mass Balance and we will utilized these result in Energy Balance calculations, in
order to estimate the Enthalpy of reaction associated with the process.

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Chapter 3: Recommendations

The unwanted heat can be reduced or reused by following some techniques and methods. In this section
we state some methods and their working.

Shell Heat Exchangers

Heat exchangers are devices that transfer heat between two or more fluids, between a solid surface and a
fluid at different temperatures and in thermal contact. The shell heat exchanger is comprised of two
parts; an exchanger body and an exchanger inlet and outlet. The exchanger body utilizes vortex
generators to reduce the heat transfer. None of the other cell heat exchangers reported to date has made
use of turbulence promoters to increase the heat transfer rate. Although shell fins are used extensively to
increase heat dissipation by increasing the transfer surface, they can restrict convective flow on the shell
face and decrease heat transfer through radiation by reflecting to each other at higher temperatures. The
SHE however, makes use of proprietary turbulence promoters which increase the heat transfer rate when
compared with the rates calculated using standard engineering design equations

Two fluids or solids and fluids or gases and fluids, with various temperatures, flow through the shell
heat exchanger. One flows into the heat exchanger and the other out. Heat is transferred from one fluid
to the other through the tube walls. There are many tubes so that the surface area is high and the heat
exchanged is maximum. By adopting this method, heat which was ought to be wasted can be utilized.
This is one of the best way to use the energy. The below figure shows a Shell Heat Exchanger

Fig10. Shell Heat Exchanger (SHE)

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Water Injection

Cooling gas by vaporization of water is a well-known technique, but its application to pot gas cooling is
new and long term references do not exist. The technology is owned and patented by Pechiney / Rio
Tinto Alcan but can be licensed to potential vendors. The in-duct system is equipped with two-phase
nozzles using compressed air to generate very fine water droplets that require minimal residence time to
evaporate. Normally a 100 micron droplet will require 1 second of residence time to fully evaporate.
This is equivalent to 20-30 meters inlet ducting at gas velocities of 20-30 m/s, which is readily available
in most GTCs. The short vaporization length is due to atomized water droplets which create more
surface contact area with the hot pot gas resulting in rapid heat transfer and quicker cooling.

Fig.11 Water Injection Principle

All the WI systems have been used to cool the gas below 135 °C and not to maintain temperatures of
around 115 °C. Naturally, the evaporation will be more difficult at lower temperatures with increasing
water vapour concentrations and greater risks of scaling. Plugging the nozzles should be avoided at all
times, since the water will hit the walls and will produce scale. Control of the amount of water in
relation to the temperature drop should be monitored at all times to detect malfunctioning of any of the

The water is injected in the raw gas stream in the main collector ducts and once scaling starts to form, it
will be difficult to remove unless a parallel duct with WI will be available as standby. Nozzles can be
regularly checked and replaced by new lances without causing much disruption to the performance.
Regardless it needs consistent and thorough housekeeping with an integrated monitoring system.

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Conception of “Dream Cell”
According to this unconventional process, aluminium is produced by electrolysis of cryolite-alumina
melts. One of the characteristics of the above process is that the anode-cathode space (ACS) is filled
with a slurry, which contains more than 30% of alumina and the rest is a fluoride melt. According to the
above idea, undissolved alumina, which separates the anode from the cathode, is no longer the pot
operator’s enemy that generates problems like sediments, muck, increased MHD convection, extra
anode effects, etc. Undissolved alumina becomes both an ally and an integral part of the bath sub-
system. The main benefits of the above technical solution are as follows:

1. Effective separation of aluminium and anode gases by means of the above slurry. In turn, it helps
suppress back reactions under low convection conditions, increase current efficiency and reduce the
anode-cathode distance (ACD) by 2 to 4 times. Low ACDs fully compensate for the growth of
resistance which grows due to the presence of nonconductive alumina.

2. Ability to use electrolytes with a low solubility of alumina, which helps produce aluminium at
temperatures less than 973 K.

3. Ability to use vertically oriented or inclined electrodes, bipolar or monopolar. Such orientation
increases cell specific productivity per 1 m2 or 1 m3. So, the apparatus volume as well as its effective
area, under such conditions, is reduced by several times compared to the dimensions of the current
industrial cell. An increased electrode surface area provides for a decrease in current density and the
electrical work of dissipation and hence a decrease in specific power consumption.

4. Ability to use new electrolytes based on potassium fluoride, for instance, which allows for the use of
inert anodes. Suppressed convection reduces the transport of anode corrosion products to the cathode
and improves metal purity.

5. The use of new designs of the vertical electrode makes it possible to design brand new cells with both
monopolar and bipolar electrodes. Bipolar electrodes will allow for the use of a bus bar of low weight.
Besides, the MHD convection and instability problem will disappear.

6. Low-temperature electrolytes with an alumina slurry allow for new pit designs, which exclude metal
inserts and other materials, except for lining materials made of high-alumina concrete. Such cells should
be much cheaper and have a longer life compared to the current ones.

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