The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) has today launched the Bauxite Residue Roadmap to maximise the use of bauxite residue in cement and concrete products. The roadmap provides information that addresses concerns, prejudices, technical and legislative barriers to bauxite residue use.
According to the IAI, bauxite residue production is likely to reach approximately one hundred and sixty million tonnes (Mt) in 2020 and a 7 to 8 billion tonne inventory by 2040.
Launching the roadmap, Katy Tsesmelis Director – Refining & Safety at the IAI noted: “Global metallurgical alumina production is forecasted to increase from 124 million tonnes in 2019 to 178 million tonnes by 2040. As alumina production increases so too will the production of bauxite residue (BR), which is generated by the extraction of alumina from bauxite during the Bayer process. As an industry, we are committed to finding solutions to minimise the social, environmental and economic impacts of bauxite residue.”
This roadmap has identified six key pathways that can help the industry deliver success:
- Provide solutions to existing barriers and fill knowledge gaps;
- Establish joint research projects between alumina, cement & concrete producers to investigate the use of BR in Portland Cement Clinker (PCC) or Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCM) for blended cement and develop technical approval documents;
- Demonstrate benefits in carbon dioxide emission reduction that can be achieved using BR in PCC & SCM for blended cements;
- Establish the level of interest & preparedness in incorporating BR in PCC & SCM for blended cements;
- Encourage the use of BR in cement & concrete products to further the circular economy; and
- Promote the use of BR in PCC & SCM for blended cements in sourcing & public procurement policies;
The success of these pathways requires collaboration and commitment between several industry and other stakeholders.
Alongside the roadmap is a Bauxite Residue in Cement Calculation Tool that provides a simple assessment of the possible benefits of bauxite residue in cement products.
The energy, environmental and financial benefits of using BR in the cement and concrete industry are not well understood. This Tool evaluates electricity use, fuel consumption, expected emissions and related costs per tonne of material produced, comparing all possible scenarios of adding the residue to the baseline of the normal operation of the cement plant.
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