Encyclopedia of Applied Electrochemistry

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerhard Kreysa, Ken-ichiro Ota, Robert F. Savinell

Aluminum Smelter Technology

  • Geir Martin Haarberg
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-6996-5_452


Production of primary aluminum metal is rather unique in that the principles of the electrolysis technology that were proposed and independently patented by Hall and Heroult in 1886 are essentially unchanged. Also remarkable is the fact that the electrolytic Hall-Heroult process is the only industrial production route for aluminum. Notwithstanding, great progress has taken place over more than 100 years of development. The main improvements have been related to current efficiency, electrical energy consumption, productivity, and environmental impact.

The production of primary aluminum was ∼41 million metric ton in 2010 [1]. The largest producing country was China with ∼16 million ton. After a slight decrease in the annual production in 2009 due to world financial problems, there has been a slow increase due to the importance of aluminum alloys for transportation and building materials.

Alumina is dissolved and reduced to aluminum in a molten fluoride electrolyte based on...
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway