Novel Chemical Treatment Approach and Characterization of Graphite from Industrial Aluminum Waste
Thousands of tons of Spent Pot Lining (SPL) are produced annually by the primary aluminum producing industry. SPL is classified into two types, 1st and 2nd cut SPL waste. The 1st cut, which is the material under investigation in this study, is a contaminated graphite/ceramics material (50-60% of it is graphite) that is used in lining the electrolytic cell where aluminum is produced by the reduction of molten Al2O3. 1st cut SPL is considered as a hazardous material as it contains contaminants such as fluorides, and small traces of cyanides. It also produces flammable gases when it comes in contact with water (i.e. ammonia, hydrogen and methane). This paper fully characterizes Qatalum’s 1st cut SPL that was de-lined from electrolytes cell, chemically treated this 1st cut SPL and extract the graphite component for use in some applications, in heavy metal ions removal from water. The functionalized graphite showed a high efficiency copper ions removal from aqueous solutions at different pH values with the efficiency at pH 7.
Keywords - Chemical treatment, Aluminum waste, Graphite extraction, Heavy metal removal, Wastewater treatment