Harmless disposal and resource utilization for secondary aluminum dross: A review
Review article, 2021
Secondary aluminum dross (SAD) is solid waste of primary aluminum dross extracted aluminum, which contains approximately 40–60 wt% alumina, 10–30 wt% aluminum nitride (AlN), 5–15 wt% salts and other components. The salts include sodium chloride, potassium chloride and fluorine salts. SAD has dual attributes as resource and pollutant. SAD landfill disposal has the disadvantages of occupying land, wasting resources, a high cost and great environmental impact. SAD utilization methods are currently pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy. In pyrometallurgy, AlN is oxidized and the salts are evaporated at high temperature. After mixing, molding and calcination, firebricks and ceramics can be manufactured from SAD. In hydrometallurgy, AlN is hydrolyzed and salts are dissolved in water. After dissolving, filtrating, precipitating, washing and calcination, γ-Al2O3 can be prepared from SAD. Resource consumption and emission from both utilization methods were assessed. A ton of magnesium aluminum titanate based ceramics by pyrometallurgy consumes 1043 kg raw materials and releases 69 kg of waste gas, 4.17 t of waste water and no solid waste. A ton of γ-Al2O3 by hydrometallurgy consumes 3389 kg raw materials and releases 111 kg of waste gas, 12.98 t of waste water and 267 kg of solid waste. Therefore, the resource consumption and emission of SAD utilization by pyrometallurgy is lower than that by hydrometallurgy. We should focus on reducing the emission of the three wastes from pyrometallurgy. We are sure that SAD can be utilized for glass ceramics by pyrometallurgy. AlN and salts can be transformed into alumina and glass phases at high temperature with no emission. We should clarify mechanisms for SAD composition adjustment to lower the glass ceramics' melting point, AlN and salts transformed into alumina and glass phases respectively, and nucleation and crystal growth of glass ceramics at high temperature.
Secondary aluminum dross (SAD)