SINTEF has demonstrated the direct production of Al with ~ 2wt% Sc by electrolysis from a cryolite melt with Al2O3 and Sc2O3 as feed material, obtaining current efficiencies in the range of 85-90%.
The trials were carried in electrolytic cells using a horizontal electrode arrangement, as in the Hall-Heroult primary aluminium production process. Thus, dedicated electrolytic cells in the aluminium producers’ pot lines will allow obtaining highly valued Al-Sc material, with minimum capital investment costs.
Besides, dross residues from Al-Sc master alloy production were successfully used as feed, i.e., as Al2O3 and Sc2O3 source. In this way, the dross material can be valorised by the developed innovative electrolysis process.
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