The tests are being carried out on a completely new 3kA pot in Krasnoyarsk (KrAZ) and, if successful, production tests on its inert anode pots will start in 2015. From 2017 the Company may start shifting its existing smelting capacities to inert anode technology, starting at KrAZ.
While the current electrolysis process generates CO, CO2 and poly-aromatics emissions, the
new generation pots produce a tonne of oxygen for every 900kg of aluminium produced. Scaled to KrAZ this
figure will reach 900,000 tonnes of oxygen per year. The burning speed of an inert anode is 300 to 400 times
slower than that of a traditional carbon anode and discharges only 1-2 cm per year, compared with 1-2 cm per day
for a carbon anode.
UC Rusal's inert anode is being co-financed by the Skolkovo Foundation project to the tune of RUR750 million – of which RUR130 million has been approved so far.
“Inert anode technology may have a revolutionary impact on the global aluminium industry. Each stage of development brings us closer to a technological breakthrough and we hope to begin switching our smelters, working on the Soederberg technology, to inert anode technology in the next five years, as we build on our leading position in the industry,” said Viktor Mann, UC Rusal's technical director.
• UC RUSAL is the world’s largest producer of aluminium. In 2011 the company accounted for approximately 9% of global production of both aluminium and alumina respectively.